Monday, October 24, 2016

DOT: Vehicle Miles Driven increased 3.4% year-over-year in August

by Bill McBride on 10/24/2016 01:37:00 PM

The Department of Transportation (DOT) reported:

Travel on all roads and streets changed by 3.4% (9.3 billion vehicle miles) for August 2016 as compared with August 2015.

Travel for the month is estimated to be 284.9 billion vehicle miles.

The seasonally adjusted vehicle miles traveled for August 2016 is 268.6 billion miles, a 2.5% (6.5 billion vehicle miles) increase over August 2015. It also represents a 0.8% decrease (-2.2 billion vehicle miles) compared with July 2016.
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 - mostly due to lower gasoline prices - 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 2015.

The second graph shows the year-over-year change from the same month in the previous year.  Miles driven are up 3.4% year-over-year.

Vehicle Miles Driven YoY In August 2016, gasoline averaged $2.28 per gallon according to the EIA.  That was down from August 2015 when prices averaged $2.73 per gallon.

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