California Gasoline Demand Down 0.1%, Prices Up 24% in May

California’s gasoline consumption declined 0.1% compared with the same month last year although the average price at the pump increased 24% to $3.14 per gallon, according to figures from the state’s Board of Equalization (BOE).

Gasoline consumption edged down 0.1% in May 2010 when Californians consumed 1.290 billion gallons of gasoline compared to 1.291 billion gallons consumed in May 2009. California drivers paid an average price at the pump of $3.14 per gallon for gasoline in May 2010, which is an increase of 24% compared to May 2009 when the average price at the pump for gasoline was $2.53.

Diesel consumption in May 2010 shows that Californians used 205 million total gallons, which is a 2.1% decline from May 2009’s total of 209 million gallons of diesel used in California. Diesel prices in California in May 2010 were $3.20 per gallon, which is an increase of 36% compared to May 2009 when California diesel prices were $2.35 per gallon. Diesel consumption generally follows economic activity and is especially closely related to construction and transportation of goods.

The BOE is able to monitor gallons through tax receipts paid by fuel distributors. The figures reported monthly are net consumption that includes BOE audit assessments, refunds, amended and late tax returns, and State Controller’s Office refunds. Figures for June 2010 are scheduled to be available at the end of September 2010.

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