This Collapse In Automobile Usage Is Completely Unprecedented In The American Economy

GREAT NEWS: The greatest economics site in the world, FRED, has added vehicle miles data to its database.

So we’re going to have a lot of fun playing with this information.

Here’s the chart we made.

Year-over-year change in vehicle miles traveled vs. the year-over-year change in GDP.

As you can see, there’s something very unusual taking place right now: we’ve never had a drop in vehicle miles traveled like this at a time when GDP is moving higher.

Red is 12-month total vehicle miles traveled. Blue is GDP.

chart

UPDATE:

Here’s a chart that explains a lot. It looks at the year over year change in vehicle miles traveled (red line) vs. the year-over-year change (inversed) in the population that’s Not In labour Force. Now we start to see a convergence.

chart

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