September 16, 2016 / 1:25 PM / 3 years ago

U.S. motorist miles traveled in July is most for month: government

Vehicles drive along the avenue in the northern border city of Mexicali, in Baja California state, Mexico June 15, 2016. REUTERS/Dave Graham

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Motorists logged 287.5 billion miles on U.S. roads in July, the most ever for the month and a 2 percent increase over last year, according to data released Friday by the U.S. Department of Transportation.

The latest figures show motorists are on pace to break the annual record for the year for vehicles miles traveled on U.S. roads amid low gasoline prices and an improving economy.

Motorists logged 1.58 trillion miles through June, beating the previous record of 1.54 trillion miles set last year.

Despite the record volume of vehicle miles, U.S. refiners are witnesses their worst gasoline margins in at least five years for most of the summer thanks to stubbornly high inventories.

Driving activity is closely watched since the United States accounts for about 10 percent of global gasoline demand.

Gasoline demand in June was the highest ever, according to the latest figures from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, which began tracking gasoline demand in 1945.

Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Jeffrey Benkoe

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