SACRAMENTO – the Board of Equalization (BOE) has released California gasoline and diesel consumption figures for October 2009.
The demand for gasoline decreased 0.4 percent and diesel declined 11.1 percent compared to the same month last year.
“Following a long period of much volatility in gas prices and consumption, both were fairly stable last fall,” said Chairwoman Betty Yee. “However, diesel consumption continued to decline, reflecting continued weakness in economic activity.”
Through October 2009 California gasoline consumption had declined 1.3 percent compared to January through October of 2008.
In October 2009, gasoline demand declined 0.4 percent when Californians used 1.246 billion gallons of gasoline compared to 1.252 billion gallons the same month last year.
The average California gasoline price at the pump in October was $3.06 per gallon compared to $3.44 in October 2008, an 11 percent decrease.
The October decrease in consumption is the first decline in six months. The previous five months showed small increases in consumption when compared to last year.
Gasoline sold in October generated approximately $318 million in sales tax during that month, an estimated $27 million less than generated last year.
October sales tax revenues from gasoline would have been about $62 million less had the state portion of the sales and use tax rate not increased by 1 percent on April 1, 2009.
Diesel fuel sold in California during October totaled 224 million gallons compared to last year’s October total of 252 million gallons, which is a decline of 11.1 percent.
California diesel prices were $2.86 per gallon in October 2009 down 19.9 percent compared to October 2008 when the average diesel price was $3.57 per gallon.
Diesel consumption generally follows economic activity during a recession.
The BOE is able to monitor gallons through tax receipts paid by fuel distributors. Figures for November 2009 are scheduled to be available at the end of February 2010. All monthly, quarterly and annual figures can be viewed at: www.boe.ca.gov/sptaxprog/spftrpts.htm.