Friday, 6 April 2012

Next leg of US recession hits the little guy.

Gasoline consumption in the US is plunging as car drivers make do with less. It's not because they have been buying fleets of gas misers and Chevy Volts.  The updated chart explains why things are going to get worse before they get better.  Don't believe lying statistics about unemployment that exclude millions who have dropped out of the work force.  If the lineup outside a restaurant is shrinking daily, is the restaurant getting better or going downhill?  The red line means people are making daily decisions to live on a smaller budget.

The chart posted by Mish Shedlock is a good one with hundreds of millions of fill-ups for data points.  It compares the first quarter of each of the last 20 years and the fall-off this year is extreme, eclipsing the gentle slowdown that began in 2008.  Gasoline is mostly for personal consumption and "Petroleum" refers to all uses of crude oil.  The bad news is the blue line for industrial users is off even more.  (An earlier report )

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