Transportation Economic Trends
Household Spending on Transportation:
Total National Household Spending
Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE), produced by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), is the broadest measure of consumer spending in the U.S. economy. It measures total national household spending on goods and services, as discussed on this page. Data and discussion on average household spending from the Consumer Expenditure Survey also available.
Transportation accounted for $1.4 trillion (9.7 percent) of total national household spending (including spending on behalf of households, such as employee transit subsidies) in 2019, making transportation the fourth largest household expenditure category after healthcare, housing, and food (when excluding other expenditures).
Total National Household Spending on Transportation: Personal Consumption Expenditures
Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) measures total household spending on durable goods, such as vehicles; nondurable goods, such as fuel; and services, such as for-hire transportation. It includes spending by governments, employers, and other organizations on behalf of households—for example, employee transit subsidies.
PCE measures total national spending only; it does not measure differences in household spending by income or social group. The Consumer Expenditure Survey details spending by select household characteristics.
Transportation accounts for a small portion of PCE and as a percent of PCE, fluctuates little over time.