Bloomberg News

U.S. Gasoline Demand Declines From Year Earlier, MasterCard Says

October 12, 2011

Oct. 12 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. gasoline consumption declined 2.5 percent last week from a year earlier, according to MasterCard Inc.

Motorists bought 8.79 million barrels a day in the week ended Oct. 7, the second-biggest payments network company said in its SpendingPulse report. That’s down from 9.01 million a year earlier and from 8.82 million the previous week.

The average pump price fell 6 cents last week to $3.40 a gallon, 23 percent higher than a year earlier.

Averaged over four weeks, gasoline use was 2.3 percent below a year earlier. It was the 29th week in a row that demand fell on that basis, according to SpendingPulse data.

Fuel consumption in the period ended Oct. 7 was down 0.3 percent from the prior week, according to the report.

Gasoline demand peaked this year at 9.56 million barrels a day in the week ended July 1 as motorists filled their tanks before the July 4 holiday weekend. The lowest level of consumption occurred in the week ended Feb. 11 when consumers bought 8.47 million barrels a day.

The report from Purchase, New York-based MasterCard is assembled by MasterCard Advisors, the company’s consulting arm. The information is based on credit-card swipes and cash and check payments at about 140,000 U.S. gasoline stations.

Visa Inc. is the biggest payments network company by transactions processed.

--Editors: Richard Stubbe, David Marino

To contact the reporter on this story: Barbara J Powell in Dallas at bpowell4@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dan Stets at dstets@bloomberg.net


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