Transportation-Related Final Demand

Transportation-Related Final Demand

Total transportation-related final demand rose by 33 percent between 1993 and 2003 (in 2000 chained dollars1) from $833.8 billion to $1,112.8 billion (figure 9-2). However, transportation-related final demand as a share of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) showed little change throughout the period. This implies that transportation-related final demand grew at about the same rate as GDP. In 2003, the share of transportation-related final demand in GDP was 10.7 percent, compared with 11.1 percent in 1993 [1].

Personal consumption of transportation-which includes household purchases of motor vehicles and parts, gasoline and oil, and transportation services-is the largest component of transportation-related final demand. It amounted to $911.8 billion in 2003 and accounted for 82 percent of the total transportation-related final demand (figure 9-3). Government purchases and private domestic investment commanded equal shares of transportation-related final demand in 1999. However, during the rest of the 1993 to 2003 period, government purchases held a greater share. Government purchases reached $199.8 billion in 2003 (an 18 percent share), while private investment totaled $127.3 billion (an 11 percent share).

The United States imported more transportation-related goods and services than it exported between 1993 and 2003. This gap has widened in recent years. In 1993, net exports were 3.9 percent of total transportation-related final demand. By 2003, net exports rose to 11 percent. Deficits in the trade of automobiles and other vehicles and parts have been the primary component of the deficit in transportation-related goods and services.

Transportation-related final demand is the total value of transportation-related goods and services purchased by consumers and government and by business as part of their investments.2 Transportation-related final demand is part of GDP, and its share in GDP provides a direct measure of the importance of transportation in the economy from the demand side. The goods and services included in transportation-related final demand are diverse and extensive, ranging from automobiles and parts, fuel, maintenance, auto insurance, and so on, for user-operated transportation to various transportation services provided by for-hire transportation establishments.


1. U.S. Department of Transportation, Research and Innovative Technology Administration, Bureau of Transportation Statistics, calculations based on data from U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysis, National Income and Product Account tables, available at, as of January 2005.

1 To eliminate the effects of inflation over time, the Bureau of Transportation Statistics converted current dollars (which are available in appendix B of this report) to chained 2000 dollars.

2 Also included are the net exports of these goods and services, because they represent spending by foreigners on transportation goods and services produced in the United States . Imports, however, are deducted because consumer, business, and government purchases include imported goods and services. Therefore, deducting imports ensures that total transportation-related spending reflects spending on domestic transportation goods and services.