Tuesday, July 21, 2015

DOT: Vehicle Miles Driven increased 2.7% year-over-year in May, Rolling 12 Months at All Time High

by Bill McBride on 7/21/2015 11:59:00 AM

People are driving more!

The Department of Transportation (DOT) reported:

Travel on all roads and streets changed by 2.7% (7.3 billion vehicle miles) for May 2015 as compared with May 2014.

Travel for the month is estimated to be 275.1 billion vehicle miles.

The seasonally adjusted vehicle miles traveled for May 2015 is 262.1 billion miles, a 3.4% (8.7 billion vehicle miles) increase over May 2014. It also represents a 0.2% change (0.6 billion vehicle miles) compared with April 2015.
The following graph shows the rolling 12 month total vehicle miles driven to remove the seasonal factors.

The rolling 12 month total is moving up, after moving sideways for several years.


Vehicle Miles Click on graph for larger image.

In the early '80s, miles driven (rolling 12 months) stayed below the previous peak for 39 months.

Miles driven (rolling 12) had been below the previous peak for 85 months - an all time record - before reaching a new high for miles driven in January.

The second graph shows the year-over-year change from the same month in the previous year.

Vehicle Miles Driven YoY In May 2015, gasoline averaged of $2.80 per gallon according to the EIA.  That was down significantly from May 2014 when prices averaged $3.75 per gallon.

Gasoline prices aren't the only factor - demographics is also key. However, with lower gasoline prices, miles driven - on a rolling 12 month basis - is at a new high.