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December 5, 2016 11:20 AM, EST

US Motor Travel Rises by 2.9% in September Amid Low Gasoline Prices

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U.S. motorists logged 2.9% more miles in September versus last year, new federal data showed, continuing a record-setting pace amid low gasoline prices and lower unemployment.

In September, motorists traveled 265.5 billion miles on U.S. roads and highways, the most ever recorded for the month, according to data released Nov. 5 by the U.S. Department of Transportation.

U.S. enthusiasm for driving is closely watched by oil traders because it influences demand for gasoline in the world's largest consumer.

U.S. demand for gasoline rose by 2.2% in September, or 203,000 barrels per day, from a year ago to 9.49 million bpd, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. 

Through September, motorists logged 2.414 trillion miles on U.S. roads and highways, the most ever during the first nine months of the year.

The resurgence of gasoline demand may face its biggest test after OPEC's decision in late November to limit crude production, which is expected to raise prices.