U.S. consumption of finished motor gasoline in summer 2016 (June through August) increased by 169,000 barrels per day, or 1.8%, relative to the same period in 2015. The increase in gasoline consumption was slightly lower than the increase in driving, suggesting that fuel economy improvements slightly mitigated the increase.
Vehicle miles traveled (VMT) were also high in summer 2016, setting a new record in June. From summer 2015 to summer 2016, VMT grew by 9.3 billion miles per day, an increase of nearly 3.0%. This is slightly more than the 1.8% growth in gasoline consumption over that period. Compared to summer 2007, summer 2016 VMT increased more than 6.4%, while gasoline consumption only increased 0.5%.
The October Short-Term Energy Outlook forecasts an annual gasoline consumption increase of 0.5% from 2016 to 2017, based on a 1.3% increase in travel and improvements in fuel economy.