Americans drove less in June; trucking down in July

I love good graphs and straightforward data. And that’s what Calculated Risk served up today with a post about the June decline in total vehicle miles driven in the U.S. and with a post about the decline in a key trucking index in July.

As you can see, both indices change markedly when the nation is in recession. The vehicle miles driven is especially notable because the numbers typically rise quickly in the aftermath of a recession.

In part, Americans are driving less because of the higher price of gas, but they are also driving less because of weakness in labor markets, fewer retail shopping trips, less ambitious vacations, and so forth.