Transportation Economic Trends

Inflation and Transportation

Producer Price Index

Inflation occurs when prices rise and purchasing power gets weaker over time. A number of factors drive inflation and which factors have the most impact can change from month to month. This page looks at how transportation costs can impact inflation from the perspective of transportation providers and non-transportation industries purchasing transportation services. For a consumer perspective see

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Prices Faced by Businesses Purchasing Transportation Services and by Transportation Providers: Producer Price Index (PPI)

The producer price index (PPI) measures inflation from the perspective of costs to industry or producers of products. When producers face input inflation, they often pass the increases in their production costs on to retailers and consumers, shown through increases in the CPI. The following series of graphs look at the changes in price transportation providers faced in purchasing fuel and transportation equipment and the changes in price faced by producers purchasing transportation services.

Prices Faced by Transportation Providers

Transportation Fuel PPI

Transportation providers purchase fuel to provide services. Fuel PPI indicate the changes in fuel prices faced by transportation providers. 

Transportation Equipment PPI

Transportation providers also purchase transportation equipment to provide services. Transportation equipment PPI indicate the changes in transportation equipment prices faced by transportation providers. Increases in the price of transportation equipment increase the cost to provide transportation services. 

Prices Faced by Industries Purchasing Transportation Services

Transportation Services PPI

Increases in transportation services PPI indicate increases in production costs faced by industries purchasing the services. 
The contribution to the change in intermediate demand for services tracks the effect of a specific service (e.g., transportation, warehousing, building maintenance, etc.) on the overall price change for services sold to businesses as inputs to production (excluding capital investment). In other words, out of 100%, the percentage represents the change in price faced by industries for all service inputs accounted for by the item. The graph below shows the contribution of transportation and related services to the change in the price for all services purchased by industries from the same month last year or from the previous month. 

Recommended citation
U.S. Department of Transportation, Bureau of Transportation Statistics, Transportation Economic Trends, available at

Bureau of Transportation Statistics
The Bureau of Transportation Statistics, part of the U.S. Department of Transportation, is the preeminent source of statistics on commercial aviation, multimodal freight activity, and transportation economics, and provides context to decision makers and the public for understanding statistics on transportation.
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