“Stealth Recession” – The Mystery Of The Teleporting Commuter

The game is afoot: call it the ‘Mystery of the Teleporting Commuter’. Starting in October 2016, the amount of gasoline supplied to the US market started to decline on a year over year basis. This negative trend accelerated in January, leaving both energy analysts and macroeconomic pundits to wonder if the US has entered a stealth recession.
We regularly look at US gasoline production in relation to the Department of Transportation’s ‘Miles Driven’ data, and when you add that variable to the mix the mystery starts to clear. Even though gasoline supplied was down 1.6% in October and -0.3% in November, the DOT data (November last month available) shows miles driven up 1.6% and 4.3%, respectively. By this math, imputed fuel efficiency for the US fleet is improving noticeably compared to historical trends that date back to the 1970s – a trend that is worth watching in 2017.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Feb 13, 2017.

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