Transportation Satellite Accounts: A Look at Transportation's Role in the Economy [2011]

Transportation Satellite Accounts: A Look at Transportation's Role in the Economy [2011]

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    To provide a more comprehensive measure of transportation services and their contribution to the national economy, the U.S. Department of Transportation's Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) and the U.S. Department of Commerce's Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) jointly developed the Transportation Satellite Accounts (TSAs) as a supplement to the U.S. Input-Output (I-O) accounts. The TSAs, unlike other national economic data, explicitly estimate the value of transportation services undertaken to support the activities of a business in a not-for-hire transportation industry (termed as in-house transportation) and include the value in the national measure of transportation services. Most other measures count only the value of for-hire transportation and thus miss the contribution of in-house transportation services to the U.S. economy. In providing a comprehensive measure of transportation services, the TSAs provide the framework for conducting studies related to the role of transportation in the economy. The TSAs provide a way to answer questions such as: • How much do transportation services (both for-hire and in-house) contribute to U.S. gross domestic output and gross domestic product? • What industries rely heavily on transportation services, and what modes do these industries depend more heavily on? • What transportation costs do industries incur during production? • What is transportation's share in the total cost of commodities purchased by consumers and other end-users? • How much must transportation services increase to meet an increase in the final demand of particular goods and services? • What is the effect of a change in the amount of transportation services produced on the economy?
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