NEW YORK, Oct 31 (Reuters) - U.S. gasoline demand rose by a modest 0.9 percent in August compared with last year, the fourth increase in the past five months, according to data released on Tuesday by the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
Overall, U.S. gasoline demand is relatively flat compared with the same stretch last year, but it could decline in the months ahead as data that takes into account the demand destruction from a historic hurricane season is released.
U.S. gasoline demand rose 83,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 9.77 million in August, the data showed.
U.S. gasoline demand, which accounts for 10 percent of global consumption and hit a record high last year, has risen each year since 2012.
U.S. distillate demand remained strong, rising 2.9 percent year-on-year to 3.99 million bpd in August, the data showed.
However, total oil demand was down 0.6 percent year-on-year, or 114,000 bpd, to 20.16 million bpd in August, the data showed.
Motor travel data suggests strong driving numbers, but experts have said that greater fuel efficiency has taken hold and helps keep gasoline demand weaker than expected.
U.S. motorists logged 0.8 percent more miles on the road in July than they did in the year-ago month, keeping 2017 on a pace to break last year’s record of total miles driven, according to U.S. Department of Transportation data.
Motorists drove 1.5 percent more miles on U.S. roads through July than in the same period last year, the data shows. August numbers will be released later this month. (Reporting By Jarrett Renshaw; Editing by Marguerita Choy)