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Why Is Gasoline Consumption Tanking?
Of Two Minds ^ | 2/10/2012 | Charles Hugh Smith

Posted on 02/10/2012 10:49:46 AM PST by VA Voter

What other plausible explanation is there for the decline from 42.4 MGD in July 2011 to 30.9 MGD in November 2011 other than a dramatic decline in discretionary driving? That 27% drop in a few months in unprecedented, except in times of war or sharp economic contraction, i.e. recession.

If we stipulate that vehicles and fuel consumption are essential proxies for the U.S. economy, then we can expect a steep decline in economic activity to register in other metrics within the next few months.

Such a sharp drop would of course be "unexpected" given the positive employment data of the past few months. But as the data above shows, employment isn't tightly correlated to gasoline consumption: gasoline consumption reflects recession and growth.

In other words, look out below.

(Excerpt) Read more at oftwominds.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS:
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Well reasoned, well written blog post. Well worth a read.
1 posted on 02/10/2012 10:49:50 AM PST by VA Voter
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To: VA Voter

Also, 11% fewer people driving to work.


2 posted on 02/10/2012 10:54:33 AM PST by Bronzewound
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To: VA Voter

Also, 11% fewer people driving to work.


3 posted on 02/10/2012 10:55:02 AM PST by Bronzewound
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To: VA Voter

That’s just staggering!!

It’s ‘real’ data too. Not something that has been statistically ‘whitewashed’ by .gov bureaucrats.


4 posted on 02/10/2012 10:56:43 AM PST by KoRn (Department of Homeland Security, Certified - "Right Wing Extremist")
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To: VA Voter

Very interesting, and maybe a harbinger for economic disaster indeed. However, I would suspect that July driving is ALWAYS much higher than November in normal times. Vacations, more later in the day activites, etc.

However, something to look at for sure.


5 posted on 02/10/2012 10:57:03 AM PST by C. Edmund Wright
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To: VA Voter

Must be all those Chevy Volts on the road!/


6 posted on 02/10/2012 10:57:29 AM PST by LC Gladiator (Barack Obama is a malevolent Marxist cockroach and a foul festering pustule on the hide of America.)
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To: VA Voter

The past few months have been even more grim than usual for the immediate pre- and post-Christmas period for some contractors of my acquaintance. Roofers are still getting work, but calls for discretionary projects like new flooring and interior painting are way down.


7 posted on 02/10/2012 11:00:18 AM PST by jiggyboy (Ten percent of poll respondents are either lying or insane)
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To: VA Voter
This is a perfect example of the elasticity of demand. As price increases, demand decreases.

Demand curves are rarely linear. They can have ceilings and floors representing the demand where price is zero or arbitrarily high.

Garde la Foi, mes amis! Nous nous sommes les sauveurs de la République! Maintenant et Toujours!
(Keep the Faith, my friends! We are the saviors of the Republic! Now and Forever!)

LonePalm, le Républicain du verre cassé (The Broken Glass Republican)

8 posted on 02/10/2012 11:01:36 AM PST by LonePalm (Commander and Chef)
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To: VA Voter

Interesting. Gasoline consumption has dropped off the charts as has dry shipping. All this seems in direct opposition to government/media reports.


9 posted on 02/10/2012 11:01:59 AM PST by Obadiah (Why do they put Braille dots on the keypad of the drive-up ATMs?)
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To: VA Voter

Because we’re all driving our new Volts? /sarc


10 posted on 02/10/2012 11:05:24 AM PST by bigbob
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To: C. Edmund Wright

A better question along the same lines is why did all global commodities soar and stay up there?

I believe it is the Obama risk factor.

Everyone has discounted and moving to their expectations of a lousy presidency.


11 posted on 02/10/2012 11:06:37 AM PST by himno hero (Obamas theme...Death to America...The crusaders will pay!)
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To: C. Edmund Wright
However, I would suspect that July driving is ALWAYS much higher than November in normal times. Vacations, more later in the day activites, etc.

Yep, if you look at a chart of several years of US gasoline consumption, you get a distinct annual peak-and-valley look, with the peak in summer and the valley in winer, and the oddball being the massive dropoff due to $4+/gallon gas in 2008.

This analysis would have a lot more meaning if it compared December 2010 to December 2011. But in Googling the basic concept, you can see that December 2011 gasoline consumption was the lowest in 15 years, so something is afoot. But this story gives us no working idea of the scope of such.

12 posted on 02/10/2012 11:07:21 AM PST by dirtboy
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To: VA Voter

$3.55/gal


13 posted on 02/10/2012 11:07:46 AM PST by The Wizard (Madam President is my President now, and in the future)
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To: LC Gladiator

It might be just me but paying $3.79 for a gallon this morning, well my driving has decreased. Waiting for my neighbor to pay me the $10 dollars I loaned her from Monday so she could get to work. I plan to tell her to keep it but only if she offers to pay it back. n/s


14 posted on 02/10/2012 11:08:28 AM PST by cameraeye (A happy kaffir!)
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To: VA Voter

Why is price currently going up, diesel fuel will hit $4.50 a gal by mid march.


15 posted on 02/10/2012 11:08:44 AM PST by org.whodat (Sorry bill, I should never have made all those jokes about you and Lewinsky, have fun.)
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To: VA Voter

Uh, will this be on the test?

But seriously...gas now approaching $4 again despite the deplorable economy. One shudders to think what the price would be with any economic growth to speak of.

I’m not rooting for $5 gas but it would demonstrate the absolute insanity and inaction of Obama’s Middle East policies. We have been waiting decades for some of these oil-rich strongmen to be deposed and their own people have done the job for us. Do we attempt to foster a new era of relations (at best) or install puppets (at worst)? No, we allow more bloodthirsty savages to institute mob rule under real theocracies, not the kind liberals claim exists in the US. In short, the demand figures mask an even longer-term problem in terms of geopolitics.


16 posted on 02/10/2012 11:10:00 AM PST by relictele (Green energy is neither)
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To: Bronzewound
Also, 11% fewer people driving to work.


17 posted on 02/10/2012 11:12:25 AM PST by Tatze (I reject your reality and substitute my own!)
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To: VA Voter

not as many going to work, oh wait the unemployment is down, ARF, yes and millions have dropped out of the work force, been forced into early retirement , etc

Gas was less then $2 when Bush left now it is nearly 3 and a half or over but the MSM does not seem to want to think a that as news worthy but did when BUSH WAS IN


18 posted on 02/10/2012 11:13:29 AM PST by manc (FOX, DRUDGE, HAS BEEN DISGUSTING IN THEIR BIASED ATTACKS V NEWT. I HATE OUR BIASED LIBERAL MEDIA.)
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To: VA Voter

One thing we know, the effect of newer high mileage cars is small because the AVERAGE car on the road now in the US is 10.8 years old, an all time high.

I’ve been watching the fuel consumption stats with great interest since Tim Wallace started sending in charts to Shedlock a couple months ago.

If this means what I think it does, Baraq is a guaranteed loser come Nov 2012.


19 posted on 02/10/2012 11:15:53 AM PST by nascarnation (DEFEAT BARAQ 2012 DEPORT BARAQ 2013)
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To: VA Voter

The economy just can’t handle $100 oil and $4/gal fuel.

$50-70 is where the economy can recover while still allowing oil development.


20 posted on 02/10/2012 11:16:43 AM PST by B Knotts (Just another Tenther)
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To: LonePalm

For sure, people can not afford money for extra gas because it is so expensive now. People can not afford to shop, either. Then we have millions uemployed... The watermelons are very happy with their nasty selves. This is what Obama said he was going to do.


21 posted on 02/10/2012 11:16:45 AM PST by SaraJohnson
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To: VA Voter

But you don’t see the cost of gasoline and diesel in this country dropping to a level on par with the drop in demand.


22 posted on 02/10/2012 11:17:10 AM PST by Jack Hydrazine (It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine!)
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To: VA Voter

Another reason: My family bought a 2009 Hyundai Accent (dinky little econobox) to replace our full-sized Chevy conversion van in long-distance driving. The conversion van was consigned to in-town service; the savings in fuel costs pays the car payment.


23 posted on 02/10/2012 11:18:26 AM PST by Oberon (Big Brutha Be Watchin'.)
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To: Bronzewound
Also, 11% fewer people driving to work.

Well, D'UH!!

Only actually the number is closer to 20%, if you count ALL adults who have exhausted their unemployment, given up on finding a job, underemployed, or recently "joined" the job market.

24 posted on 02/10/2012 11:21:48 AM PST by Publius6961 (My world was lovely, until it was taken over by parasites.)
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To: VA Voter

Here’s how I decreased my gas consumption. We have two drivers (wife and I) and three vehicles, They are:
2010 Ford Focus
2007 Nissan Titan
1969 VW Beetle

The Titan sits in the driveway. Wife drives the Focus, uses about 9 - 10 gallons a week. I drive the VW, use about 5 - 7 gallons a week. If I drove the truck, I would burn between 12 - 15 gallons a week.

So now the truck is used only when a truck is needed, and I suffer the wonderful anemic engine smelling lack of heat of a classic air cooled Volkswagen.


25 posted on 02/10/2012 11:26:50 AM PST by fredhead (Vegetarian - Old Indian word for poor hunter.)
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To: VA Voter

Is gasoline consumption really tanking or, is this just another case of “funny numbers” from the government?

After all, its easy to reach 8.3% unemployment if over 1,000,000 people are dumped from the workforce in one month.


26 posted on 02/10/2012 11:26:58 AM PST by NRG1973
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To: VA Voter
Here is my take.
We know from past experience Americnas will continue business as usual when gasoline is $3/gal. Been there done that.

We know when gasoline hit $4/gal they won't readily pay it; and they slowed down the consumption. Been there done that.

So somewhere between $3 and $4/gal is the right sweet spot for gouging.

However Americans cut back driving at $4/gal when the economy was fairly good.
The economy is not good now so anything over $3/gallon is going to see a pullback in gasoline consumption.

If gasoline goes up to $4/gallon it will further criple the weaker economy.
If it were ever to reach $5/gal as some predict, we would end up in a depression. - Tom

27 posted on 02/10/2012 11:27:24 AM PST by Capt. Tom
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To: nascarnation

The big gains in fuel efficiency are behind us. Used to be a typical car averaged say 12 mpg combined highway/local driving. Then it jumped to 18-22 mpg. Now the automakers are using every kind of expensive gimmick as well as drastic weight reductions to squeeze a few marginal mpgs more to meet congressional mandated fleet mileage figures.

In addition, many of these little sedans can transport more that 2 adults and 2 children making the car of low utility except for basic work commutes.


28 posted on 02/10/2012 11:41:52 AM PST by Tallguy (It's all 'Fun and Games' until somebody loses an eye!)
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To: VA Voter

I moved my office to less then a mile from my house.

$3.50 a gallon is insane only if a Republican is in the white hut. You don’t hear the left complain about the price of gas now. Why is that?


29 posted on 02/10/2012 11:47:23 AM PST by woodenickel
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To: VA Voter

Lawnmowers. It’s the lawnmowers. Last July, they were heard from dawn to dusk. Now, I open my window, I don’t hear a single lawnmower. Wait until May. Those numbers will climb again.


30 posted on 02/10/2012 11:48:58 AM PST by weeder
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To: weeder

Lawnmowers? lol.


31 posted on 02/10/2012 12:02:55 PM PST by VA Voter
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To: bigbob

“Because we’re all driving our new Volts?” /sarc

I, too, was amazed that 600 “O”-Volts being sold each month would have this much impact on the use of gasoline. Now, if they would just add a teeney weeney windmill on top....what, another 20 to 30% drop???


32 posted on 02/10/2012 12:03:26 PM PST by radioone
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To: dirtboy

I totally agree with your assessment.


33 posted on 02/10/2012 12:05:19 PM PST by C. Edmund Wright
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To: weeder

Brilliant! It’s like a bright light shone and I could see the truth of it all. Wait a minute.......what about snowblowers?


34 posted on 02/10/2012 12:14:21 PM PST by blueunicorn6 ("A crack shot and a good dancer")
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To: LC Gladiator

I second that emission.


35 posted on 02/10/2012 12:14:30 PM PST by JediJones (Newt-er Romney in 2012!)
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To: VA Voter

These upgrades have long paid for themselves.

K&N Air Filter
Mobil 1
Insulated air intake
50psi High-perf tires/wheels
Low restriction exhaust
5-speed (orig equip)


36 posted on 02/10/2012 12:15:33 PM PST by bicyclerepair ( REPLACE D-W-S ! http://www.karenforcongress.com)
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To: VA Voter

I am tired of being ripped off and have found other ways and things to do.


37 posted on 02/10/2012 12:20:04 PM PST by mountainlion (I am voting for Sarah after getting screwed again by the DC Thugs.)
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To: blueunicorn6

Their gas consumption is cancelled out by weedwhackers and outboard motors in the summer. That’s my theory, and I’m stickin’ to it.


38 posted on 02/10/2012 12:20:45 PM PST by weeder
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To: Tallguy

Yes the low hanging fruit has been picked.

My new Chevy Cruze Eco gets similar mileage to my 15 yr old Saturn - about 40 mpg highway.

The Cruze is actually about 400lb heavier though, and it is far quieter and smoother riding, and likely much more crashworthy.


39 posted on 02/10/2012 12:20:53 PM PST by nascarnation (DEFEAT BARAQ 2012 DEPORT BARAQ 2013)
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To: VA Voter

The “alternative” locomotions are not going to benefit from either major drops in gasoline demand, or major improvements in MPG for gasoline powered vehicles (which helps reduce demand forces), either, or both which will tend to influence the retail gasoline market (over time) to lower prices or less steep increases or both. (that’s without even mentioning the coming rise in domestic supply of crude)


40 posted on 02/10/2012 12:23:37 PM PST by Wuli (ui)
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To: NRG1973

I’m not sure about the data source.
Shedlock is definitely not in the bag for Baraq, he’s a libertarian.

There’s a FReeper named “Thackney” who is an oil industry expert, maybe he’ll see this and chime in.


41 posted on 02/10/2012 12:25:34 PM PST by nascarnation (DEFEAT BARAQ 2012 DEPORT BARAQ 2013)
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To: VA Voter

SUSTAINED......

Gasoline and the price of oil has been SUSTAINED at the 3.00-3.99/ 95-105 range.

The FLOOD of non-productive 15 trillion dollar paychecks and pensions, is keeping commodity prices high, and poisoning the false-stock market.

The productive are and WILL keep shutting down consumption of EVERYTHING, NOT JUST GASOLINE, until Arbeitsziehungslager-Theft cessation.


42 posted on 02/10/2012 12:26:56 PM PST by Varsity Flight (Phony-Care is the Government Work-Camp: Arbeitsziehungslager)
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To: The Wizard

$3.35 2/09/2012 South FW @ 7:00am
$3.49 2/10/2012 same location @ 11:00 am
What a bunch of crap.......


43 posted on 02/10/2012 12:44:58 PM PST by 9422WMR
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To: VA Voter

Runaway sales of the Chevy Volt /sarc


44 posted on 02/10/2012 12:46:07 PM PST by Buckeye McFrog
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To: VA Voter

And then ask why the price is going up when it should be going down. Answer: Wallstreet.


45 posted on 02/10/2012 12:46:47 PM PST by Revel
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To: C. Edmund Wright
Here are the numbers (from the EIA):

Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
1983 46,218.3 48,906.1 54,111.7 49,093.7 52,021.3 52,517.2 51,898.0 51,905.6 52,676.3 50,724.3 51,150.8 51,879.1
1984 54,148.6 55,651.7 57,636.0 56,937.0 58,755.9 60,075.0 59,055.7 59,378.3 56,947.3 57,386.5 58,075.3 56,765.8
1985 54,584.3 53,829.7 57,297.6 59,075.2 57,563.7 58,832.1 58,563.3 58,096.1 56,979.0 56,949.0 58,100.7 60,295.9
1986 55,283.0 58,546.4 61,250.4 62,628.9 65,578.7 63,294.1 62,861.8 61,342.4 60,341.9 60,946.1 61,880.4 62,290.2
1987 56,488.6 60,641.1 61,627.2 61,733.5 61,750.0 64,315.2 62,404.8 62,643.9 59,339.3 60,707.9 58,877.0 61,720.2
1988 57,041.0 59,900.3 61,577.5 61,584.1 60,701.3 62,884.1 61,873.2 62,450.0 61,036.1 60,385.3 59,783.1 63,099.8
1989 55,556.8 58,492.6 60,500.1 60,242.0 62,088.7 63,521.0 62,335.0 63,362.0 61,922.8 61,973.6 61,339.0 63,182.4
1990 58,138.0 57,909.4 59,847.0 59,600.5 60,572.2 63,108.6 61,531.0 63,182.0 60,912.1 60,295.1 60,550.6 58,382.1
1991 56,924.5 59,384.5 61,553.8 61,982.0 62,244.9 63,319.4 62,600.6 62,534.0 60,346.2 61,181.3 60,442.9 61,521.7
1992 56,410.9 58,308.6 59,639.5 59,980.2 59,615.2 60,353.3 60,400.3 59,083.7 58,579.1 59,011.8 56,877.6 59,287.9
1993 53,826.6 57,305.3 57,624.8 58,138.7 57,465.8 60,391.1 58,807.7 58,453.0 57,462.3 55,432.4 55,743.5 56,074.7
1994 51,533.7 54,270.1 55,363.8 54,962.1 55,523.0 57,165.3 55,834.5 56,393.4 54,992.9 54,240.5 54,480.4 55,612.3
1995 51,200.2 54,138.2 55,592.4 55,456.8 56,242.2 58,547.4 56,944.0 58,296.8 56,580.9 55,610.5 55,907.4 56,471.5
1996 53,039.9 54,566.8 56,388.2 57,183.4 57,796.4 59,170.9 58,909.8 59,651.5 57,845.3 58,456.2 58,101.4 59,200.7
1997 54,440.6 57,313.3 58,443.8 58,854.0 57,840.1 59,820.3 65,294.2 64,803.7 63,680.2 64,355.2 62,252.8 66,017.1
1998 59,905.7 62,399.8 64,533.5 59,012.3 59,509.7 60,837.0 67,183.3 66,831.0 65,146.9 65,121.8 63,846.8 65,401.5
1999 60,254.0 62,779.7 63,320.2 63,722.4 63,464.7 64,458.4 62,669.7 61,363.0 59,265.4 60,415.4 59,078.1 62,719.0
2000 54,421.0 59,107.2 60,573.0 57,911.6 60,300.4 63,275.5 62,278.2 63,621.8 63,098.0 61,954.7 62,184.7 62,014.2
2001 58,139.5 61,731.0 62,859.5 62,301.3 62,878.9 65,417.0 62,534.2 64,390.5 62,214.2 60,864.4 60,024.8 60,793.5
2002 60,211.7 63,942.2 62,828.5 63,953.3 64,537.0 64,874.0 64,594.2 66,683.5 62,352.4 63,344.8 63,255.8 63,109.4
2003 60,247.9 60,803.4 60,815.8 61,728.4 66,315.5 66,426.5 66,803.1 66,812.7 63,949.0 64,615.5 63,778.4 63,394.5
2004 57,143.8 58,381.7 59,186.2 59,352.6 58,565.7 58,992.8 59,012.0 59,664.1 57,327.4 57,977.1 57,017.9 58,013.6
2005 54,938.7 58,368.8 58,330.0 59,093.3 59,474.5 61,731.9 61,109.4 61,220.9 57,866.5 57,075.2 59,094.7 59,426.1
2006 56,531.8 59,960.4 59,859.7 61,020.8 60,234.0 61,980.4 61,445.8 62,015.9 59,783.4 60,233.2 58,860.2 57,862.5
2007 54,698.1 56,954.9 57,278.7 57,354.7 58,719.6 60,865.7 58,806.7 60,178.5 57,912.9 57,843.2 56,579.0 54,650.0
2008 53,994.1 56,157.4 55,494.8 56,307.4 56,390.6 55,938.5 54,802.5 55,628.2 53,405.9 55,210.7 54,080.6 53,931.5
2009 51,108.7 50,968.4 51,298.4 51,215.6 50,957.0 50,419.6 49,677.9 49,966.5 48,669.6 48,461.0 47,454.3 47,441.4
2010 44,012.3 44,227.1 45,482.4 46,234.2 46,016.2 46,765.3 45,755.3 45,082.6 43,876.0 43,624.1 42,857.0 42,417.1
2011 40,331.0 40,924.9 41,608.1 41,555.0 41,172.9 42,477.2 42,448.3 42,351.8 41,972.6 32,015.0 30,934.0

It's clear demand has been dropping off since the middle of 2009. But I wonder if the sharp drop in October and November is not simply a data problem — reports not all in — that isn't real and will get revised upward.

46 posted on 02/10/2012 12:47:11 PM PST by cynwoody
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To: relictele

It’s not just gasoline. I just returned from the grocery store and it looks like almost everything has jumped by 5% to 10% in the last month or two. It is frightening to think what it will be by this time next year.


47 posted on 02/10/2012 12:48:13 PM PST by pepperdog (Why are Democrats Afraid of a Voter ID Law?)
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To: bicyclerepair

You left out properly inflated tires.


48 posted on 02/10/2012 12:48:48 PM PST by VA Voter
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To: KoRn

Nevertheless, it works for Obama.

Consumption drops dramatically, but the price keeps rising.

The great unwashed conclude that the Law of Supply and Demand must be a bunch of hooey. It’s all a big scam. And if a basic tenet of Capitalism is nothing but a scam, Capitalism itself must be one also.


49 posted on 02/10/2012 12:49:00 PM PST by Buckeye McFrog
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50 posted on 02/10/2012 12:51:11 PM PST by TheOldLady (FReepmail me to get ON or OFF the ZOT LIGHTNING ping list)
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