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KANSAS CITY -- According to the Energy Information Administration, consumer gas consumption is down approximately 0.2 percent compared to last year. The federal agency is predicting that gasoline demand will be down 0.4 percent this summer and 0.3 percent for the year, reported The Kansas City Star.
While it might appear a minute percentage, it is significant as it is the first time since 1991 that there's been a decline in annual gas consumption, and only the eighth time since 1951 that the demand decreased.
"Sustained higher gasoline prices are beginning to show up in lower gasoline consumption," Tancred Lidderdale, an analyst for the Energy Information Administration, told The Kansas City Star.
Despite citing that higher gas prices were impacting demand rates, the Energy Information Administration also points to a slowing economy, which, in part, is due to gasoline and diesel prices at record levels.
Vice President of Admo Energy Steve Mosby told the newspaper that his company had been getting recent reports from customers, including gas stations, of substantial reductions in the number of gallons being pumped.
According to AAA, the national average on Monday for a gallon of gasoline was $3.50 a gallon, or 64 cents higher than a year ago. Diesel was $4.20 per gallon, or $1.27 higher than a year ago, the report stated.
Mike Right, a spokesman for AAA Club of Missouri, told The Kansas City Star that a decline in gasoline was on the horizon. For example, a survey conducted in January by AAA found that many motorists were already deciding to change
vacation plans for this summer by planning for shorter trips.
"We are starting to see some signs of that," Right told The Kansas City Star.