Transportation Economic Trends
Contribution of Transportation to the Economy:
Final Demand Attributed to Transportation
Transportation contributes directly to the economy. This page discusses gross domestic product (GDP)—a measure of economic activity—attributed to the demand for transportation relative to other goods and services. The contribution of transportation services to GDP is an alternative measure of transportation's direct contribution to the economy.
- In 2020 the demand for transportation ($1.6 trillion) accounted for 7.7 percent of GDP.
- Purchases of motor vehicles and parts accounted for the largest portion (33.7 percent) of the demand for transportation in 2020.
- Adjusted for inflation, the demand for transportation decreased 15.4 percent in 2020—due to decline in private investment on motor vehicle, personal consumption expenditures on fuels, fluids, lubricants, insurance, and transportation services.
- Private investment in
transportation fell 33.9 percent, transportation services decreased 25.8 percent, motor vehicle fuels, lubricants and fluids dropped 15.2 percent, and insurance fell 2.3 percent in 2020 (adjusted for inflation).
Gross Domestic Product Attributed to the Demand for Transportation
Components of the Demand for Transportation
- Personal (household) consumption expenditures on: motor vehicles and parts; motor vehicle fuels, lubricants, and fluids; motor vehicle and other transportation insurance; and transportation services (e.g., passenger air fare);
- Government investment in transportation infrastructure and purchases of transportation goods and services;
- Private domestic investment in transportation infrastructure and equipment;
- The change in retailers’ inventories of motor vehicles and parts; and
- Net exports (exports minus imports) related to transportation goods and services.