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Friday, May 02, 2008

Boomers and cars

Has anybody notice that the price of petrol has increased? What a daft question.

As the pump price climbs ever higher and the population ages, U.S. road traffic is falling—and so is fuel consumption

In 2007 the traffic in Palm Beach Florida decreased. It's not just Palm Beach. Traffic levels are trending downward though much of the US. Preliminary figures from the Federal Highway Administration show it falling 1.4% last year. That would be the first annual decline since 1991.

There are lots of explanations for this decline in road transport. Most people seem agreed that a significant contributing factor is the fact that US baby boomers are exiting their peak driving years. This translates into fewer car sales on a per capita basis. I think this is an interesting example of a mega-change created by the ageing population. Good for the environment – bad for the car makers. Dick Stroud

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