Skip to content

Gasoline Demand Dip That Spooked Market Sparks Furor Over US Data

  • Government data shows demand fell, other gauges show it rose
  • Revisions in monthly data, higher or lower, aren’t unusual
A customer holds a fuel nozzle at a Shell gas station in Hercules, California.

A customer holds a fuel nozzle at a Shell gas station in Hercules, California.

Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

The world’s most closely watched energy data from the US government is sparking an unusual amount of confusion and even skepticism in some corners.

The Energy Information Administration reported the four-week average of gasoline supplied, a proxy for demand, fell last week below the same time in 2020, when the country was in the throes of the Covid-19 pandemic. The report led gasoline futures trading in New York to drop by as much as 25 cents a gallon in intraday trading. While the pressure of high prices has been very real for most American drivers and was expected to blunt consumption, the extent of the decline came as a surprise to many.