Bloomberg News

U.S. Gasoline Use Falls 2.8% From Year Earlier, MasterCard Says

October 25, 2011

Oct. 25 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. gasoline consumption declined 2.8 percent last week from a year earlier, according to MasterCard Inc.

Drivers used 8.839 million barrels a day of gasoline in the week ended Oct. 21, according to MasterCard Inc.’s SpendingPulse report. Consumption was down 1.5 percent from the prior week, the second-biggest payments network company said.

It was the eighth straight week that demand lagged behind 2010 levels. Averaged over four weeks, fuel demand was lower than a year earlier for the 31st consecutive week. Demand in 2011 through Oct. 21 is down 1.2 percent from a year earlier.

The average pump price rose 5 cents last week to $3.47 a gallon, the second consecutive increase. Prices were 23 percent higher than a year earlier.

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, Bill Banker

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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