High gas prices mean fewer Canadians on the road
Once oil prices began to skyrocket and Canadians accepted the high prices were here to stay, it was only a matter of time before they started to cut back their gas consumption. Statistics Canada reports that gasoline sales fell just over 3% in May over May 2007. This decrease in demand goes hand-in-hand with the increased use of transportation systems like Vancouver's skytrain and Calgary's CTrain.
Statistics Canada reported receipts at gasoline stations rose 2.4% in May from April, a solid gain but much less than the 8.8% rise in gas prices over the month. Excluding that huge price rise, the volume of gas sales actually fell about 5.9% in May, according to calculations by National Bank Financial.
"Canadians...are responding at last to the run-up in gas prices," said Douglas Porter, deputy chief economist at BMO Capital Markets. "There were all kinds of anecdotal behaviour around the spring and this seems to confirm it."
Canadians seem to be following their U.S. counterparts, despite speculation better income and employment growth would not dent consumption as much.
In April, the U.S. Department of Transportation reported Americans drove 1.4-billion fewer highway miles than the same month the year before, the sixth month in a row mileage had dropped as U.S. gasoline prices raced toward $4 a gallon this spring. Demand is now down about 3.2% on the year in the United States.
In early July, Statistics Canada reported liquid volumes of gasoline sales fell 3.2% to 3.6-million cubic meters in May over May 2007 and diesel fuel volumes dropped 2.1%.
Michael Ervin, president of MJ Ervin & Associates Inc., says he is not surprised to see Canadians cutting back.
"We've been pretty aware for some time that demand is softening," said Mr. Ervin, who's Calgary-based firm tracks prices. Wholesale and retail gasoline prices usually take a big run-up over crude in early summer as retailers try to take advantage of the summer driving season but the demand simply has not been there this season.
5th Most Expensive Gas in the World
London, England $8.96 a gallon. So you can have fish and chips but when it comes to gas they don’t play games. At this price I’d seriously consider investing in a bicycle and helmet or taking a ride on the underground.
4th Most Expensive Gas in the World
Rome, Italy $9.03 a gallon. You can visit ancient ruins right in the center of town, see where Christians were fed to the lions and view the sistein Chapel but make sure you don’t go by car. At over $9.00 it’s no wonder Italy loves the Vespa moped.
3rd Most Expensive Gas in the World
Copenhagen, Denmark $9.24. Not only are gas prices through the freaking roof, but Denmark also has the highest household electricity prices in the world. You can thank this to a nuclear energy ban and poor natural resources. So not only will you not be going anywhere, but you’ll definitely be chopping down some Denmark wood to stay warm.
2nd Most Expensive Gas in the World
Paris, France $9.43. They have the Louvre, Eiffel Tower, Champs- Elysees, along with world famous wine and cuisine. They also have an excellent subway system which comes in very handy with gas prices pushing almost $10 a gallon.
And the number one most expensive gas in the world belongs too….
Oslo, Norway $9.85 a gallon. Pushing the $10 mark here is the Norwegians, with their very cold weather and excellent human right laws. Along with their glorious GDP ranking and expansive natural resources, one should wonder why the heck gas prices are so high. I guess when you live in a country that pretty much allows you to do anything you freaking want, you can’t complain.