January saw a strong pick-up in vehicle miles travelled on interstate highways, which historically have trended quite well compared to the weekly EIA figures (see Americas Weekly – Issue 06). This could be the first sign of renewed pick-up in end-user consumption.
The tempo seen in vaccinations has picked up significantly, and, at current rates, we would expect 50% of the population in the US to be vaccinated over the next 120 days. Initial jobless claims, as well as continued claims, continue to remain stable, and the expected stimulus package should help provide further impetus here.
We now project demand for gasoline to gradually creep higher. But a more pronounced pick-up of pace is not supposed to set in before the end of March, when we expect to see warmer temperatures with noticeably lower infection rates which will help mobility recover.
Research Highlights - Week 6
Gasoline demand in the US has continued to remain under firm pressure, trending roughly sideways over recent weeks. Therefore, one of the largest single segments of the global demand picture has yet to show signs of a clear recovery. However, there is some light on the horizon, and we expect momentum to return over the coming months.