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Gasoline Use Hits Year-to-Date High as US Driving Season Starts


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(Bloomberg) The US driving season kicked off with the highest year-to-date gasoline demand, but record prices at the pump are preventing a return to pre-pandemic norms.

Americans hit the road over the Memorial Day weekend, consuming 9.2 million barrels a day of gasoline in the process and bringing the best available gauge for short-term demand to its highest level since December, according to the Energy Information Administration. Gasoline demand is still down by around 1% from the same time last year and nearly 6% from the same time in 2019.

Meanwhile, pump prices have been on a tear, hitting record highs nearly every day since mid-April, data from auto club AAA show. The national average is now pennies away from $5 a gallon.

GLJ

The current consumption rate tracks with the EIA’s forecast for the second quarter, which the agency revised down to reflect the impact of high prices and weaker growth in non-farm jobs, said Matthew French from the agency’s office of energy analysis in an email to Bloomberg.

GLJ

“Pent-up demand for travel is keeping gasoline consumption from falling faster. That will likely be the case this summer as well,” said Linda Giesecke, an analyst at consultancy ESAI.



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