On Monday the EIA released revised figures for US oil consumption in October showing that demand had only fallen by 833,000 b/d from a year earlier rather than the 1.4 million b/d that had been reported in preliminary estimates. According to monitoring done by the Department of Transportation, US highway travel in October was down by 3.5 percent from a year earlier. Final US gasoline consumption figures for October show consumption of 8.98 million b/d, down by 250,000 b/d over October 2007.

With the average US retail gasoline price now down to $1.61, there are signs that at least gasoline consumption in the US is rebounding. The EIA reports that while oil products consumption during 2008 is down by 5.9 percent as compared to 2007, over the last four weeks consumption is down by only 3.7 percent. The rebound is being led by gasoline which, during the last four weeks, is down by only 2.2 percent. At least in the US market, consumption declines do not seem to fully justify the low prices.