01 March 2012

Follow Up: UK Fuel Transport Intensity

This post follows up a discussion earlier this week which introduced the notion of the gasoline (expenditure) intensity of the economy. A reader (Thanks RC!) observed that the UK has seen a dramatic shift away from gasoline to diesel fuel for transport. So I have recalculated the index (shown above) to include both gasoline and diesel (data sources are the same).

With respect to the costs of fuel transport (not just gasoline) I would then revise the preliminary conclusions from the earlier post as follows:
  • The UK spends about 300% more than the US on fuel transport as a proportion of GDP (in round numbers, the US is at about 0.3% and the UK 1.4%, for the 2010 data)
  • Assuming UK petrol consumption is constant in 2011 and 2012, and GDP in 2012 = 2011, then the index above increases to 120 in 2011, or about the same as it was in 2000.
  • Thus, since 2001 US spending on gasoline as a proportion of GDP has increase by about 30%, while UK spending is about the same level or a little less.
So the bottom line for the US in comparison to the UK is mixed -- The US spends about 20% as much of GDP on gasoline than does the UK.  At the same time, over the past decade US gasoline intensity has increased by about 30% while UK gasoline intensity is about the same as it was 10 years ago.

I am also following up on trying to get global data on energy and petroleum intensity of GDP, as discussed here (thanks to those who have emailed, but no hard data yet!).