Tuesday, April 12, 2011

People Are Driving Less

U.S. gasoline prices have gone up by about third this year. From both economic theory and recent history, you would expect that people would be using less gasoline, mainly by driving less often. From what I can see locally, that is the case. People are still driving to work, and they are stopping at retail destinations on the way home from work, but there aren’t so many trips out after they arrive home.

Data on U.S. imports also suggests a decline in gasoline consumption. The amount of oil imported in February, the latest data available, fell to its lowest level since 2009, though with higher prices for oil, the United States is spending more on oil imports.