Americans Get Their Driving Mojo Back Over the Summer; Largest 3-Month Increase Since 2004
The chart above shows the percent change in U.S. traffic volume through August (from the same month in the previous year), in a report released today by the Federal Highway Administration (data and report here). After falling for 17 consecutive months starting in November 2007, traffic volume has increased in 4 out of the last 5 months. The 0.7% August increase follows increases of 2.2% in July and 1.9% in June, and is the first time since late 2006 of 3 consecutive monthly increases in traffic volume, and the largest 3-month increase since early 2004 (see shaded areas in chart above).
The chart below displays traffic volume as a moving 12-month total, showing 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 3 months in a row, and in 4 out of the last 5 months, and marks the largest 3-month increase in traffic volume (12-month total) since the spring of 2006, more than three years ago.