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US Gasoline Demand Exceeds 2020 Levels For First Time: Report

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US Gasoline Demand Exceeds 2020 Levels For First Time: Report

For the first time since the pandemic took root, year-on-year U.S. gasoline sales have moved into positive territory, according to the latest data from the Oil Price Information Service by IHS Markit (NYSE: INFO).

What Happened: For the week ending March 20, U.S. gasoline same-store sales in gallons were 10.1% higher than for the same period one year earlier. Yet same-store gasoline sales were also 16% below pre-pandemic levels.

Prior to the week ending March 20, the OPIS data showed gasoline volumes ranging from 15% to 18% below prior-year levels since the start of 2021, with a significant exception in the week ending Feb. 20, when abnormally harsh winter weather in Texas and parts of the south drove sales into a 22.4% year-over-year decline.

Related Link: BofA Upgrades World Fuel Services On Oil Demand, Price Recovery

Why It Matters: Tom Kloza, global head of energy analysis for OPIS, is uncertain whether the nation could quickly bounce back to pre-pandemic levels of gasoline sales.

"The logic that gasoline demand will suddenly and permanently return to pre-pandemic levels fails to take into account the lingering effects of unemployment, dramatic cuts in urban, suburban and rural events, and hybrid models for commuting that allow for more people working from home," said Kloza.

"Even as the country gets back to normal, we are still to discover what the ‘new normal' means."

The OPIS data is culled from a weekly survey of more than 25,000 U.S. fuel stations.

Related Link: This Study Shows Tesla Leading The Charge In Online Car Sales

Photo by Andreas160578/Pixabay.

 

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Posted-In: gasoline sales Oil Price Information Service PandemicNews Best of Benzinga

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