Chart of the Day: US Miles Driven

Thursday, June 19, 2008 | 11:42 AM

$4.05+ average national gas costs and $140 barrel oil is having its effect: Demand destruction brought about by high prices has lead to Americans driving less.

Total vehicle miles traveled grew by nearly 3% a year from 1984 to 2004, the rate of growth slowed suddenly in 2005 and 2006 and has declined since then:

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19gasgraphic190_2 "As the price of gasoline quadrupled over the last decade, American drivers seemed to defy the laws of economics by pumping more into their vehicles year after year.

But this is the year American drivers appear to be finally succumbing to price shock at the pump, according to a new report by Cambridge Energy Research Associates, a consulting firm affiliated with IHS Inc. It says the slowdown in the economy and soaring gasoline prices have finally persuaded Americans to drive fewer miles in fewer gas-guzzling vehicles.

“U.S. gasoline demand will likely decline in 2008 for the first time in more than 17 years,” says the report to be released Thursday. “For the first time since the 1970s and early 1980s the number of miles driven by Americans has clearly begun trending downward.”

The Transportation Department reported on Wednesday that Americans drove 1.8 percent fewer miles on public roads in April 2008 compared with the same month last year, the sixth consecutive month of driving mileage declines."

 

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Sources:
Driving Less, Americans Finally React to Sting of Gas Prices, a Study Says
CLIFFORD KRAUSS
NYT, June 19, 2008
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/19/business/19gas.html

Americans Drove 1.4 Billion Fewer Highway Miles in April of 2008 than in April 2007
DOT, Wednesday, June 18, 2008
http://www.dot.gov/affairs/dot8408.htm

Traffic Volume Trends
http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/ohim/tvtw/tvtpage.htm

U.S. Vehicle-Miles http://www.bts.gov/publications/national_transportation_statistics/html/table_01_32.html

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Thursday, June 19, 2008 | 11:42 AM | Permalink | Comments (22) | TrackBack (0)
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Comments

That's it Ritzholz,
I'm gonna drive up there and punch you in the nose. By the way... Bush said, in order to counter the demand destruction of gasoline he'll be using Air Force One more often. That way, the economy will appear healthy b/c gas consumption will have increased.

Posted by: ali_M | Jun 19, 2008 11:56:52 AM

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