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Martin Laplante

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Mon, 02 Mar 2009

Canada and US Driving No Longer Dropping

This is an update of an earlier post

The downward trend in driving in the U.S. and Canada has stopped. These two graphs with roughly similar scales show a moving 12-month average of all driving on roads. The Canadian figures are from the quarterly Canadian Vehicle Survey and go to September 2008, U.S. figures are from the Traffic Volume Trends and go to December 2008. Both sets of figures were released in the past few days.

Starting December 2007, when gasoline went up over $3 a gallon and stayed there, US driving was dropping like a stone. Latest figures, with gas back down, shows that the drop is slowing down. It's hard to see on the graph, but it's there. Click on the pictures for a larger graph.

In Canada the trend is again very odd. The downward trend had started sooner in Canada, but driving started actually increasing even before prices had started coming down significantly. Very strange.

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