American Consumers Get Their Driving Mojo Back

The chart above shows the percent change in U.S. traffic volume through July (from the same month in the previous year), in a report released today by the Federal Highway Adminstration (data and report here). After falling for 17 consecutive months starting in November 2007, traffic volume has increased in three of the last four months. The 2.3% July increase was the largest monthly gain since January 2006, and matches the 2.3% increase in October 2006.

The chart below shows traffic volume as a moving 12-month total, with a similar pattern to the percentage monthly increase above. After falling for 16 straight months going back to December 2007, the moving 12-month total has now increased in 3 out of the last 4 months to the highest level since last year.

MP: Another sign that the recession probably ended in June.

About Mark J. Perry 262 Articles

Affiliation: University of Michigan

Dr. Mark J. Perry is a professor of economics and finance in the School of Management at the Flint campus of the University of Michigan.

He holds two graduate degrees in economics (M.A. and Ph.D.) from George Mason University in Washington, D.C. and an MBA degree in finance from the Curtis L. Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota.

Since 1997, Professor Perry has been a member of the Board of Scholars for the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, a nonpartisan research and public policy institute in Michigan.

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