The US was only two weeks into its traditional summer driving season when soaring gasoline prices began taking a toll on a quintessential American pastime: the summer road trip.
Gasoline demand trended lower in three out of the past four weeks, an unusual move for this time of year. The four-week rolling average for US gasoline consumption slid 2.9% to 8.73 million barrels a day as of July 8. Aside from 2020, when the pandemic sent the world into lockdown, it marks the lowest seasonal demand in 21 years. While just a week’s worth of data, it raises questions about the resilience of fuel demand and whether prices have been high enough for long enough to bring a meaningful lasting change in consumer behavior.