Trump Blamed For Slumping Gasoline Demand As Illegal Immigrants Stay Home

At a time of year when gasoline demand should be soaring and inventories tumbling, neither is happening and economists, policy-makers, and politicians are perplexed. However, Barclays Capital has an idea - it's because undocumented immigrants are scared to get behind the wheel.

Gasoline demand is puking when it should be peaking in the middle of summer-driving-season...


And Inventories are surging when they should be tumbling...


So what is different this time? What could have caused this 'change'. A sudden surge in Tesla drivers? Stagnant incomes and an increasingly crushed US consumer amid higher prices at the pump? Retail worker layoffs? No, Barclays Capital has the perfect scapegoat...President Trump's immigration crackdown...

As Bloomberg reports, since President Donald Trump took office in January, the government is increasingly using routine traffic stops by local police to find and deport people without valid papers. While there’s no data tracking the group’s driving habits, some say they are staying out of their cars to avoid detection.

“Immigration policy has struck tremendous fear into the undocumented immigrant communities,” Paul Cheng, an equities research analyst at Barclays Capital Inc. in New York, said in an email.

That alone may have reduced gasoline use on the West Coast, where most of the undocumented immigrantsreside, by as much as 0.8 percent in the first four months, the bank estimated in May.

Just how much gasoline is used by undocumented workers isn’t known. But the populations are significant. In 2014, California had an estimated 2.35 million, and Texas had 1.65 million, data from the Pew Research Center, a nonpartisan think tank, show. That’s about 6 percent of the total population of each state. The total for the U.S. is around 11 million.
Some immigrants say it’s just too risky now to get behind the wheel because U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents are targeting undocumented people identified through routine traffic stops or waiting for a bus.

“Whether it’s driving to work and school or being picked up by ICE by the corner of the house, people are just scared to pick up and leave,” said Edwin Carmona-Cruz, development director at La Raza Centro Legal, a San Francisco-based legal rights organization.

And so there you have it - the US economy is so fragile that unless it allows illegal immigrants to drive, the energy sector will collapse and drag the nation into recession?

Not everyone is convinced there is a correlation between undocumented workers and slipping gasoline demand.

Stopping all immigration by undocumented workers probably wouldn’t “move the needle” in terms of fuel demand, David Ellis, research scientist at Texas A&M University’s Transportation Institute, said by phone from College Station. “Whatever effect it does have, if at all, would be lost in the noise of the data.”

Bloomberg Intelligence Chief Economist Michael McDonough also said he’d be “surprised if it has a tangible impact.”

Finally, Dennis Gartman notes that it is gasoline that weighs most heavily upon the energy complex, and points out a shocking anomaly in prices this year (that we suspect has very little to do with illegal immigrants)...

A friend who shall remain anonymous, but Rich you know who you are... was kind enough to send us the following bit of data “stolen” from the always brilliant folks at Bespoke Research denoting the fact that in the past 13 years the price of gasoline at-the-pump has risen on average by 22% from late March into early June. Indeed, in 12 of those 13 years the price did in fact rise.

This year, however, the price since late March has fallen and although a decline of 1.8% is not material, it is certainly very interesting. To see gasoline  prices weaken right into the height of driving season tells us volumes about demand and certainly it is not rising. Certainly it is not bullish.


Creative_Destruct espirit Wed, 06/21/2017 - 12:47 Permalink

What can Trump NOT be blamed for? Jeeeebus F'n Cripes.Never knew illegals were key gas demand at the margins. Guess if we made everything black-market illegal and eliminated all governmentt oversight and the Fed we'd boost aggregate demand at all the margins through the ROOF... WAIT a minute! What a concept! S'cuse the illegal immigartion... you can keep the immigration controls on the books and enforce that basic requirement... just get rid of the other bullshit...e.g. the FED.

In reply to by espirit

Mr. Universe Creative_Destruct Wed, 06/21/2017 - 17:31 Permalink

Illegal aliens are Mexico's number one asset to it's GDP. The money they send home adds more to their economy than any other single thing.When an accident occurs around here there is a good chance one driver will either run or not have insurance, sometimes both.Oh my, as I'm writing this I get a computer call in spanish telling me I can consolidate my home loans and debt, freaking banksters.Lastly, The SF Bay is thought to have close to 6 million, legals? I'm betting it's closer to 9 million, that sure helps keep housing demand and prices down!

In reply to by Creative_Destruct

MalteseFalcon Jim in MN Wed, 06/21/2017 - 10:19 Permalink

Gasoline demand is down?How about the declining labor participation rate?How about the government's mandated increases in fleet mpg?How about electric and hybrid cars?How about debt,lower wages and Obamacare have forced Americans to even cut back on gasoline?How about 40 years of sermonizing to Joe 6 Pack on the need to save precious energy, which was NEVER running out?Maybe after 20 years of 1 hour+ commutes, America's love affair with cars is over?Immigrants staying home?  Trumps fault?  I yearn for someone to say this within earshot.

In reply to by Jim in MN

Endgame Napoleon VinceFostersGhost Wed, 06/21/2017 - 10:06 Permalink

Let us weigh the pros and cons for most American workers when illegal immigrants do not buy as much gasoline.


1) There might be fewer jobs in convenience stores that pay minimum wage, with employees often working behind bullet-proof glass due to the number of murders of people who cannot even cover rent on their low wages unless sex and reproduction out-of-wedlock leads to subsidized rent, EBT and $6,269 Child Tax Credits to make up the difference between their low wages and living expenses.

2) Other low-wage jobs that do not cover living expenses without unearned income from things like mom's basement, Social Security retirement income or spousal income might be affected, but zero citizens will lose a job with high enough wages to cover major household bills, like rent, except a few managers.


1) Wages, in general, might go up in the bottom economic sector due to more demand for workers in a labor market not so saturated with illegal immigrant workers who almost always have welfare and taxfare due to American-born kids and multi-family housing, making it easier for them to accept rock-bottom wages.

2) Fewer jobs may require Spanish speakers due to the increased Spanish speaking-only customer base, thereby opening up a few more jobs for US citizens in their own country.

3) The mile-long lines of miserable, clogged traffic congestion around every corner, especially in slow-as-snails school zones, might absorb less of our free time and less of our grueling, hour-or-more long commute time to $10/hr churn jobs that will not even cover the dignity of rent in an independent apartment.

In reply to by VinceFostersGhost

thevekja Wed, 06/21/2017 - 09:26 Permalink

Between all the statist storm troopers, illegals, texters, and plain mentally deficient drivers, who can blame people for not wanting to drive?

Our social contract is breaking down, and day by day things creep closer to Brazil. The place the cracks are becoming most obvious are on the roads and in the poor communities.

I live in a major city in the Southeast, and people are acting increasingly brazen on the roads, people have no respect for any traffic laws unless they can directly see a police car. Also our murder rate has doubled over last year, but only for a distinct portion of the population. When that starts to spill over things will get very ugly.

thevekja NidStyles Wed, 06/21/2017 - 10:20 Permalink

100% agree and upvoted, but sadly where I live the mayor has made it abundantly clear that illegals (estimated at 54000 and growing) will receive amnesty from local law enforcement. So yes, even in the southeast it has become a major issue.

It's more of a 'catch and release' program rather than a permanent solution. Its clear that the state is complicit in facilitating the massive influx of our new underclass, and will never address the problem in a meaningful way. They can't even keep violent felons off of the streets, so prosecuting employers for hiring illegals? Please...

Anyone who would trade freedom for security deserves neither

In reply to by NidStyles

YourAverageJoe Cognitive Dissonance Wed, 06/21/2017 - 09:55 Permalink

I've gone thru license checks before when Ford then Carter were President. None since then though.I remember the first on we were lucky the line was long enough to clear the dope smoke and eat some breath mints before presenting my papers.On another note, why are aren't insurance companies screaming about the drop in premium payments that result from all these illegals that suddenly stopped driving?

In reply to by Cognitive Dissonance

TheLastTrump (not verified) thevekja Wed, 06/21/2017 - 10:25 Permalink

You noticed that too >>>> "people are acting increasingly brazen on the roads, people have no respect for any traffic laws unless they can directly see a police car" It's a 'scofflaw' mentality, it's been growing since Ferguson 2014. CA is now not citing for many misdemeanor crimes. Woe unto you if you fuck with me or mine while we're on the road.

In reply to by thevekja