California demand for gasoline in October 2009 decreased 0.4% and diesel declined 11.1% compared to October 2008, according to figures released by Betty T. Yee, Chairwoman of the Board of Equalization (BOE).
Through October 2009 California gasoline consumption had declined 1.3% compared to January through October of 2008.
In October 2009, gasoline demand declined 0.4% when Californians used 1.246 billion gallons of gasoline compared to 1.252 billion gallons the same month the year before. The average California gasoline price at the pump in October 2009 was $3.06 per gallon compared to $3.44 in October 2008, an 11.0% decrease. The October decrease in consumption is the first decline in six months. The previous five months showed small increases in consumption when compared to 2008.
Diesel fuel sold in California during October totaled 224 million gallons compared to the October 2008 total of 252 million gallons, which is a decline of 11.1%. California diesel prices were $2.86 per gallon in October 2009 down 19.9% compared to October 2008 when the average diesel price was $3.57 per gallon.
Diesel consumption generally follows economic activity during a recession.
The BOE is able to monitor gallons through tax receipts paid by fuel distributors. Figures for November 2009 are scheduled to be available at the end of February 2010.