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Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Oh, Yeah, Demand Curves

Today's EIA crude inventories release. On a YoY YTD basis, products supplied is down 5.5%. This is somewhat affected by weather.

However good weather should INCREASE gasoline demand relatively, and better jobs stats should also.

So let's look at a longer timeframe series on US gasoline demand using EIA data. This lacks the most recent week of data, when YoY 4wk gas supplied was down 7.8%.

The 3 year is from the depths of the recession. The one year is from a weather-depressed period. The two year covers the recovery period.

This is due somewhat to retirements (demographics), somewhat to fleet replacement, and a lot more to the high price of gas.

Pricing for any particular product can go high enough to remove a portion of its economic functionality. It would appear gas has reached that level in the US at current incomes.

Removing the three year series so you can look at recent evolution:

Call me a cynic, but I do not believe this is unrelated to economic difficulties.

Let's just say the utilities output figures are too similar.

There seems to be some great disturbance in the force.

ADP jobs is very good. Still, it's not time to bet on growth. Growth impulses are extremely weak.

The long term graph shows that we are back at a ten-year demand low:

Paradoxically, this gives some hope that US car demand will continue to be pretty strong. High-mileage consumers have a high incentive to roll over less efficient vehicles.

Sales of the EVs have been weak, but sales for hybrids and all economical cars are good. Sales of trucks are pretty weak.

So read the bottom line as we have a weak recovery that is about to be snuffed by high fuel prices.
I believe WSJ is correct. We tried to devalue our
debts away and will try again. What we needed were
fundamental changes to tax and trade policies but
entrenched interests will never allow that to happen.
Policies that place American labor below the interests
of multinational corporations will impoverish the bottom
80 percent.

Demand may be slowing or dying depending on your point of view but my e-mail spam folder continues to attract a large crowd, maybe there is some correlation between consumer demand and spam......
Ron - there is a huge positive correlation between weak consumer demand and marketing spam.

Also I note CC offers are building up again. We don't really have a tight credit environment - we have a saturated credit environment, unless you want to lend to people who are quite unlikely to be able to repay the loan.
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