by Bill McBride on 8/23/2013 04:46:00 PM
Friday, August 23, 2013
The Department of Transportation (DOT) reported:
Travel on all roads and streets changed by -0.4% (-0.9 billion vehicle miles) for June 2013 as compared with June 2012. Travel for the month is estimated to be 258.1 billion vehicle miles.
The following graph shows the rolling 12 month total vehicle miles driven.
The rolling 12 month total is still mostly moving sideways.
Click on graph for larger image.
In the early '80s, miles driven (rolling 12 months) stayed below the previous peak for 39 months.
Currently miles driven has been below the previous peak for 67 months - over 5 1/2 years - and still counting.
The second graph shows the year-over-year change from the same month in the previous year.
Gasoline prices were up in June compared to June 2012. In June 2013, gasoline averaged of $3.69 per gallon according to the EIA. In 2012, prices in June averaged $3.60 per gallon. Gasoline prices were up even more year-over-year in July, so I expect miles driven to be down more year-over-year in July. However prices were down year-over-year in August, so miles might be up.
As we've discussed, gasoline prices are just part of the story. The lack of growth in miles driven over the last 5+ years is probably also due to the lingering effects of the great recession (high unemployment rate and lack of wage growth), the aging of the overall population (over 55 drivers drive fewer miles) and changing driving habits of young drivers.
With all these factors, it might take several more years before we see a new peak in miles driven.
Posted by Bill McBride on 8/23/2013 04:46:00 PM