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The prices of gasoline and diesel fuel affect the transportation sector in many ways. For example, fuel prices can impact the number of miles driven and affect the choices consumers make when purchasing vehicles. The graph below shows a three-month moving average of the percentage change of monthly data from one year to the next (i.e., February 2001 data were compared with February 2000 data). The change in vehicle travel often mirrors the change in the price of gasoline – when the price of gasoline rises, the vehicle travel declines and when the price of gasoline declines, the vehicle travel rises. Still, the price of gasoline is just one of the many factors influencing vehicle travel. At the beginning of 2014, the vehicle miles of travel increased even as gasoline prices were increasing.

Relationship of Vehicle Miles of Travel and the Price of Gasoline, 2001-2014

Graph showing the relationship of vehicle miles traveled and the price of gasoline  from 2001 to 2014

Fact #860 Dataset

Supporting Information

Percent Change from Previous Year's Monthly Total and Average
  3-month moving average
Month-Year Gas price change
from previous year
Vehicle travel change from
previous year
Feb-01 5.1% 0.9%
Mar-01 2.1% 0.4%
Apr-01 4.4% 0.6%
May-01 6.9% 0.7%
Jun-01 3.3% 0.7%
Jul-01 -3.7% 1.0%
Aug-01 -5.2% 0.6%
Sep-01 -7.1% 0.6%
Oct-01 -11.5% 1.1%
Nov-01 -18.5% 3.0%
Dec-01 -21.8% 3.5%
Jan-02 -23.5% 4.0%
Feb-02 -20.2% 3.2%
Mar-02 -16.0% 2.9%
Apr-02 -14.0% 2.5%
May-02 -14.1% 2.6%
Jun-02 -12.3% 2.8%
Jul-02 -6.5% 2.7%
Aug-02 -4.0% 3.1%
Sep-02 -0.3% 2.9%
Oct-02 4.6% 2.2%
Nov-02 14.8% 1.8%
Dec-02 22.4% 1.4%
Jan-03 32.6% 0.3%
Feb-03 38.5% -0.4%
Mar-03 34.7% -0.5%
Apr-03 22.4% 0.6%
May-03 11.4% 1.0%
Jun-03 8.1% 1.4%
Jul-03 10.1% 1.4%
Aug-03 14.6% 1.4%
Sep-03 15.5% 1.8%
Oct-03 12.7% 2.2%
Nov-03 7.9% 2.7%
Dec-03 7.1% 2.2%
Jan-04 5.7% 3.3%
Feb-04 3.7% 4.4%
Mar-04 4.5% 5.6%
Apr-04 13.9% 4.4%
May-04 25.2% 3.0%
Jun-04 30.8% 1.8%
Jul-04 26.2% 1.7%
Aug-04 17.7% 1.9%
Sep-04 17.5% 1.2%
Oct-04 22.3% 1.4%
Nov-04 27.8% 0.9%
Dec-04 23.8% 1.2%
Jan-05 18.4% 1.8%
Feb-05 15.4% 1.6%
Mar-05 18.7% 1.1%
Apr-05 17.3% 0.7%
May-05 13.8% 1.3%
Jun-05 12.1% 1.6%
Jul-05 19.4% 1.3%
Aug-05 35.4% 0.3%
Sep-05 41.4% -0.1%
Oct-05 36.2% 0.3%
Nov-05 23.3% 0.6%
Dec-05 19.9% 2.1%
Jan-06 21.2% 1.5%
Feb-06 21.2% 1.8%
Mar-06 19.2% 0.4%
Apr-06 23.3% 0.6%
May-06 29.3% 0.1%
Jun-06 32.2% -0.4%
Jul-06 27.6% -0.5%
Aug-06 12.4% 0.2%
Sep-06 -3.6% 1.6%
Oct-06 -11.4% 1.8%
Nov-06 -5.3% 1.3%
Dec-06 0.2% 0.6%
Jan-07 1.3% 0.0%
Feb-07 1.7% 0.1%
Mar-07 3.5% 0.3%
Apr-07 6.0% 1.0%
May-07 4.9% 0.9%
Jun-07 3.2% 1.2%
Jul-07 -1.1% 1.4%
Aug-07 -0.1% 1.1%
Sep-07 8.0% 1.1%
Oct-07 22.5% 0.5%
Nov-07 29.8% -0.3%
Dec-07 33.4% -1.3%
Jan-08 32.0% -1.5%
Feb-08 30.8% -2.2%
Mar-08 26.2% -2.2%
Apr-08 22.1% -3.3%
May-08 24.6% -3.5%
Jun-08 30.5% -4.1%
Jul-08 35.8% -4.6%
Aug-08 35.6% -4.5%
Sep-08 27.4% -4.5%
Oct-08 5.4% -4.5%
Nov-08 -20.1% -3.3%
Dec-08 -38.4% -2.5%
Jan-09 -40.6% -0.5%
Feb-09 -39.3% -0.1%
Mar-09 -39.0% 1.0%
Apr-09 -40.1% 1.2%
May-09 -38.5% 2.2%
Jun-09 -37.6% 2.9%
Jul-09 -34.6% 3.2%
Aug-09 -32.9% 3.4%
Sep-09 -26.8% 2.4%
Oct-09 -8.7% 2.5%
Nov-09 19.9% 1.7%
Dec-09 43.9% 0.8%
Jan-10 48.6% -1.0%
Feb-10 44.5% -0.8%
Mar-10 39.9% 0.2%
Apr-10 36.1% 1.0%
May-10 23.2% 0.6%
Jun-10 12.7% 0.2%
Jul-10 5.4% 1.0%
Aug-10 5.7% 1.2%
Sep-10 6.2% 1.8%
Oct-10 7.1% 1.8%
Nov-10 10.1% 1.6%
Dec-10 11.4% 0.6%
Jan-11 15.4% 0.0%
Feb-11 19.9% -1.0%
Mar-11 26.7% -1.8%
Apr-11 32.7% -2.5%
May-11 35.3% -2.7%
Jun-11 35.3% -2.8%
Jul-11 33.7% -3.0%
Aug-11 33.1% -3.2%
Sep-11 30.0% -3.2%
Oct-11 25.9% -3.0%
Nov-11 18.0% -2.1%
Dec-11 13.3% -0.3%
Jan-12 10.9% 1.4%
Feb-12 10.6% 2.0%
Mar-12 8.3% 1.3%
Apr-12 2.8% 1.4%
May-12 -1.6% 1.3%
Jun-12 -4.4% 1.3%
Jul-12 -2.5% 0.9%
Aug-12 1.1% 0.2%
Sep-12 6.0% 0.5%
Oct-12 5.9% 0.3%
Nov-12 4.2% -0.2%
Dec-12 0.7% -0.3%
Jan-13 1.2% -1.2%
Feb-13 -0.5% -0.9%
Mar-13 -2.9% -0.8%
Apr-13 -5.5% 0.0%
May-13 -3.6% 0.4%
Jun-13 1.0% 0.6%
Jul-13 1.5% 0.7%
Aug-13 -1.8% 1.2%
Sep-13 -7.2% 1.4%
Oct-13 -8.5% 0.9%
Nov-13 -6.4% 0.7%
Dec-13 -3.1% -0.3%
Jan-14 -3.8% -0.3%
Feb-14 -5.1% -0.3%
Mar-14 -4.1% 0.7%
Apr-14 -0.5% 1.4%
May-14 1.8% 1.8%
Jun-14 1.2% 2.1%
Jul-14 -0.5% 1.8%
Aug-14 -2.5% 2.1%
Sep-14 -4.4% 2.1%
Oct-14 -7.1% 2.2%

Sources: Federal Highway Administration, November 2014 Traffic Volume Trends, and previous monthly editions.
Energy Information Administration, Monthly Energy Review, December 2014, Table 9.4.

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