My Two Cents

Gasoline Consumption Down

Chris Farrell May 13, 2008

This is worth noting. It comes from an analysis of today’s retail sales figures by Bernard Baumohl, managing director, the Economic Outlook Group:

What did surprise us in this report was the drop in sales of gasoline. Americans spent 0.4% less on gasoline in April than the month before. Was this the result of people driving less and thus not filling up their tank as often? Or did prices actually decline last month? We took a look at the retail price of gasoline as compiled by three sources, the AAA, the DOE’s Energy Information Administration (EIA), and even GasBuddy.com!

All showed gasoline prices increased sharply in April. So the explanation behind the fall in gasoline spending had to be a decline in consumption. Indeed, what is showing up in the data compiled by the EIA is that demand for gasoline has been flattening out the past year. Clearly, the price of filling up a tank has now reached the pain threshold for an increasing number of drivers, forcing them to either take public transportation or replace their gas guzzling SUVs with more fuel-efficient autos.

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