Wednesday, April 22, 2009

DOT: U.S. Vehicle Miles Off 0.9% in February

by Calculated Risk on 4/22/2009 10:24:00 AM

The Dept of Transportation reports on U.S. Traffic Volume Trends:

[T]ravel during February 2009 on all roads and streets in the nation changed by -0.9 percent (-1.9 billion vehicle miles) resulting in estimated travel for the month at 215.8 billion vehicle-miles.
...
NOTE: The Average Daily Travel changed by +2.7% for February 2009 as compared to February 2008
Update: added the leap year adjustment.

Vehicle Miles DrivenClick on graph for larger image in new window.

The first graph shows the annual change in the rolling 12 month average of U.S. vehicles miles driven. Note: the rolling 12 month average is used to remove noise and seasonality.

By this measure, vehicle miles driven are off 3.6% Year-over-year (YoY); the decline in miles driven is worse than during the early '70s and 1979-1980 oil crisis.

Vehicle Miles YoYThe second graph shows the comparison of month to the same month in the previous year as reported by the DOT.

This comparison has been improving. As the DOT noted, miles driven in February 2009 were 0.9% less than in February 2008.

Year-over-year miles driven started to decline in December 2007, and really fell off a cliff in March 2008. So the March 2009 report, to be released next month, will be very interesting.