Bloomberg News

U.S. Gasoline Use Rises 3% on Holiday Driving, MasterCard Says

November 29, 2011

Nov. 29 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. gasoline demand rose 3 percent last week, boosted by the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday, according to MasterCard Inc.

Drivers used 8.97 million gallons a day of gasoline in the week ended Nov. 25, up from 8.71 million the week before, according to MasterCard Inc.’s SpendingPulse report.

“The Thanksgiving Day holiday produced a typical week-to- week spike in consumption,” John Gamel, a gasoline analyst and director of economic analysis for SpendingPulse, said in the report. “The sharp increase was still not enough to produce an increase in year-over-year terms.”

Fuel use fell below year-earlier levels for the 13th consecutive time last week, down 3.8 percent from 2010 levels. Fuel demand over the previous four weeks was 4.1 percent below a year earlier, the 36th consecutive decline in that measure.

Gasoline consumption in 2011 through Nov. 25 is down 1.4 percent from a year earlier, according to the second-biggest payments network company.

The average pump price fell 6 cents to $3.34 a gallon. Prices were 17 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 came 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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