Publications: Notes at the Margin

Year-over-Year Growth in US Gasoline Use Is Lower (July 4, 2016)


For months now, analysts have touted the rapid growth in US gasoline consumption. These bulls base their views on the weekly statistics on consumption ("disappearance") reported by the Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration (EIA). The disappearance data show a rise of almost four percent for the first half of 2016 compared to the first half of 2015. The increase, were it correct, would add almost four hundred thousand barrels per day to global crude oil consumption. Other analysts such as this author find the change hard to explain. In short, the growth in gasoline consumption reported weekly by EIA appears to be an outlier. Actual growth seems to be slower. When we do the numbers, we find the year-over-year increase in consumption is only 1.4 percent.


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