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Diesel Sales Feed California’s Economy

— The demand for diesel fuel in California is up and a San Diego economist said that is a positive signal about the health of the state's economy.

Aired 7/22/13 on KPBS News.

California's diesel consumption was up in the first quarter of the year.

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The State Board of Equalization reported diesel use climbed 3.8 percent during the first three months of the year.

According to the agency, retailers sold 619,135,308 gallons of diesel in January, February and March. That tops first quarter sales last year and the year before.

However, sales remain well below pre-economic crash levels. Diesel sales hit 727,152,409 gallons in the first quarter of 2007.

Economist Alan Gin of the University of San Diego said a spike in diesel consumption is a good thing for the state.

"The trucks that ship products use diesel and so I just think that the increase in diesel usage is an indication that the economy is, if not great, is doing better," said Gin said.

Meanwhile, gasoline consumption fell during the quarter. That hints that consumers are still holding back on spending on gas because of high fuel prices, Gin said.

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