Principal contributor: Matthew French
The consumption of U.S. finished motor gasoline reached a new high of 9.7 million barrels per day (b/d) in June 2016, surpassing the previous one-month high of 9.6 million b/d set in July 2007. U.S. gasoline consumption during summer 2016 (June – August) increased by 169,000 b/d, or 1.8%, relative to the same period in 2015. The increase in gasoline consumption was slightly lower than the increase in driving, suggesting that fuel economy improvements slightly mitigated the increase.
Vehicle miles traveled (VMT) were also high in summer 2016, setting a new record in June. From summer 2015 – summer 2016, VMT grew by 9.3 billion miles per day, an increase of nearly 3.0%. This is slightly more than the 1.8% growth in gasoline consumption over that period. Compared to summer 2007, summer 2016 VMT increased more than 6.4%, while gasoline consumption only increased 0.5%.
The October Short-Term Energy Outlook forecasts an annual gasoline consumption increase of 0.5% from 2016 – 2017, based on a 1.3% increase in travel and improvements in fuel economy.