The New York Times is saying that we, as a nation, are driving less than we used to. Here in Lexington, I am not sure that is the case.
The Times is basing its conclusion on the weekly gasoline report put out by MasterCard in what the call the Spending Pulse. The gasoline report is one of several reports which look at the transactions gathered from around the country.
Demand for gasoline is down and, according to the report, falling rather steeply. As of Aug. 19, the weekly demand is off 4.2% compared to a year ago and 0.8% compared to last week. I don't think that it is due to high prices as the national averages there are declining also. While up over last year, the prices have fallen 4 cents from the week before and the price for oil itself is falling recently.
America is consuming at least two million barrels of gas per week than we did last year. Did we just quit taking our Sunday drives or are we driving more fuel efficient autos? Did we stop driving to work or are we making more efficient trips when we do? Lexington streets still look like they are clogged with traffic at the same times every day and it still take a while to get across town during rush hour, so are WE driving less or are others doing a better job than we are?
The Times concludes that, as an economic indicator, less gasoline pumped = fewer miles driven and economic activity has declined.I think the we have just decided to quit wasting so much of it and we are better off for it.
What do you say? Are you driving less these days?