Monthly Output Index for the U.S. Transportation Sector
51 Pages Posted: 11 Feb 2003
Date Written: October 8, 2002
We develop a monthly output index of the U.S. Transportation sector over 1980:1-2002:4 covering air, rail, water, truck, transit and pipeline activities. Separate indices for freight and passenger are also constructed. Our total transportation output index matches very well with the annual transportation output figures produced by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). The strong cyclical movements in the transportation output appear to be more synchronized with the growth slowdowns rather than full-fledged recessions of the U.S. economy. The index has led the peaks and troughs of the NBER defined growth cycles with an average lead-time of 5 months at peaks and 7 months at troughs with no false signals.
Keywords: Transportation Sector, Freight and Passenger Movements, Growth Cycles, Business Cycles, Phase Average Trend, HP Filter, U.S. Economy
JEL Classification: E3, L9, C43, C53
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation