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Summer Gas Consumption Hit New High

The increase in gas use was lower than the increase in miles driven, suggesting that fuel economy improvements did help mitigate the increase.

Energy Information Administration
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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 through August) increased by 169,000 b/d, or 1.8 percent, 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 to summer 2016, VMT grew by 9.3 billion miles per day, an increase of nearly three percent. This is slightly more than the 1.8 percent growth in gasoline consumption over that period. Compared to summer 2007, summer 2016 VMT increased more than 6.4 percent, while gasoline consumption only increased 0.5 percent.

The October Short-Term Energy Outlook forecasts an annual gasoline consumption increase of 0.5 percent from 2016 to 2017, based on a 1.3 percent increase in travel and improvements in fuel economy.

Matthew French was the principal contributor to this report.

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