Consumption of gasoline in California declined 7.5% in June from the same month a year ago, according to figures from the State Board of Equalization (BOE).
|California gasoline consumption in the first half of the year, from 2000. Click to enlarge.|
In the second quarter of 2008, Californians used 191 million gallons of gasoline less than in the second quarter last year, a decline of 4.8%. The second quarter of 2008 marks the ninth consecutive three-month period to show less gas consumption.
The average California gas price at the pump in May was $4.02 per gallon and $4.53 in June 2008, which was a 36.0 percent change from the average price of June 2007 when it was $3.33. The BOE estimates that nearly twice as much sales tax is generated annually by higher gasoline prices than five years ago. Those higher prices generated approximately $3.6 billion in sales tax during 2007 when the average price was $3.12. In contrast, 2003’s gasoline sales generated $2.1 billion when the average pump price was $1.88.
June 2008 diesel fuel sold for use on California roads totaled 260 million gallons, which was 8.4% below that of June 2007. Diesel use in California declined 9.0% in the second quarter of 2008 from the same quarter a year ago. The decreased consumption reflects both the impacts of higher diesel prices and the slowing economy, which is associated with less freight movement on California roads and highways. California diesel prices were up 64.6% compared to June of 2007.
The BOE monitor gallons through tax receipts paid by fuel distributors. Figures for July 2008 are scheduled to be available near the end of October.