Combined, the estimated net effect of income and price changes and their respective elasticity estimates during the first half of 2012 imply a 1.1% increase in gasoline consumption over the comparable year-ago period.
However, based on EIA estimates of the light-duty vehicle fleet's fuel efficiency improvements from 2012 to 2013, the implied average fuel efficiency of the in-use light-duty vehicle fleet rose by 1.9% in the first half of 2013 compared with the comparable year-ago period. Efficiency gains likely reflect both the more stringent Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards, which were implemented for light-duty trucks starting in model year 2008 and for passenger cars starting in model year 2011, and consumer vehicle choice in an era of higher gasoline prices.
Gasoline and Diesel Fuel Prices Both Increase
The U.S. average retail price of regular gasoline increased six cents to $3.61 per gallon as of September 2, 2013, 24 cents lower than last year at this time. Prices were up in all regions of the country with the largest increase coming in the Midwest, where the price grew by 11 cents to $3.63 per gallon to mark the largest one-week increase since July 15, 2013. The East Coast price was $3.61 per gallon, an increase of five cents from last week. Increasing two cents from last week, the Gulf Coast price was $3.41 per gallon. The West Coast price rose half a cent but remained at $3.75 per gallon and the Rocky Mountain region had the smallest gain of less than a penny to $3.63 per gallon.
The national average diesel fuel price increased seven cents to $3.98 per gallon, 15 cents lower than last year at this time. Prices increased in all regions of the nation with the largest increase in the Midwest where the price rose eight cents to $3.97 per gallon, the highest price since April 1, 2013. Prices increased seven cents on the East Coast and the Gulf Coast to $3.99 per gallon and $3.90 per gallon, respectively. The West Coast price was $4.13 per gallon, a gain of six cents from last week. Rounding out the regions, the Rocky Mountain price moved up a penny to $3.94 per gallon.