More Elasticity

Here’s another remarkable measure of “income elasticity” – the consumption response to being (or feeling) broke:

That’s EIA’s “petroleum product supplied”, which is a good proxy for gasoline consumption. Contrary to a bizarre story in the New York Times last week, gasoline consumption has fallen off a cliff since early September. The Times story suggests that people are returning to their cars as prices drops. But if you look at the EIA data, it looks like the Times’ Clifford Krauss has cause and effect reversed. Prices seem to be dropping because people are consuming less.