Publications: Notes at the Margin

Differing Data: The Impact of Updating (August 8, 2016)


The picture that emerges from various data sources suggests that US gasoline use increased in February and March of 2016. In the following four months, though, growth has been subdued. In California, year-to-date use is up only 1.4 percent. The adjusted weekly data created by PKVerleger LLC shows a year-to-date increase of 1.3 percent. The BEA shows an increase of 2.1 percent for the first six months of 2016, while the EIA’s monthly data show an increase of 2.5 percent for the first five months.


The roughly two percentage point difference between the EIA weekly data and the other data series works out to approximately two hundred thousand barrels per day. The EIA monthly estimates for consumption of all petroleum products are also affected by this discrepancy. Total US use looks to be overstated by one hundred to two hundred thousand barrels per day. Again, the primary cause of the overstatement is the underestimates of exports.


In addition to this discussion of "Differing Data," this week's report examines "Structural Change and the Gasoline Glut" and provides a market overview update.


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