Japanese Driving Less

It’s not just us:

Japan, the world’s third-largest oil user, said gasoline sales in the country fell the most in more than half a century as record prices prompted motorists to drive less.

Sales fell 4.2 percent in 2008 to 57.3 million kiloliters (15.1 billion gallons), the biggest drop since the trade ministry started collecting data in 1952. Sales of oil-based fuels including gasoline fell 5.3 percent, the ministry said in a report in Tokyo today.

No surprise there, though it’s worth noting that the slump continued after prices collapsed, suggesting some sort of demand-side economic thingie beyond price response.


  1. “Thingie” has got to be one of my favorite words, and definitely my most overused.

    btw, have we got updated U.S. gasoline figures to see if the $4.00/gallon dropoff, uh…thingie, continues to have legs?

  2. Pingback: jfleck at inkstain » Gas Dropoff Thingie Has Legs

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