Bloomberg News

U.S. Gasoline Use Slips 4.4% From Year Earlier, MasterCard Says

November 15, 2011

Nov. 15 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. gasoline demand fell short of year-earlier levels for the 11th consecutive time last week, sliding 4.4 percent from 2010 consumption, according to MasterCard Inc. Demand rose 1.5 percent from the previous week.

Drivers used 8.8 million barrels a day of gasoline in the week ended Nov. 11, down from 9.2 million the prior year and up from 8.67 million a week earlier, according to MasterCard Inc.’s SpendingPulse report. The percentage drop from 2010 levels is the biggest since Aug. 12.

Averaged over four weeks, fuel demand fell 3.4 percent from a year earlier, the 34th consecutive decline in that measure.

Gasoline use in 2011 through Nov. 11 is down 1.3 percent from a year earlier, the second-biggest payments network company said.

The average pump price was unchanged at $3.43 a gallon. Prices were 20 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, Charlotte Porter

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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