Bloomberg News

U.S. Gasoline Consumption Increased Last Week, MasterCard Says

December 20, 2011

Dec. 20 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. gasoline demand rose 0.2 percent last week, according to MasterCard Inc.

Drivers bought 8.78 million barrels a day of gasoline in the week ended Dec. 16, up from 8.76 million the week before, according to MasterCard Inc.’s SpendingPulse report.

Fuel use was 4.4 percent below 2010 levels. Fuel demand over the previous four weeks was 4.2 percent below a year earlier, the 39th consecutive decline in that measure.

Gasoline consumption in 2011 through Dec. 16 is down 1.6 percent from a year earlier, according to the second-biggest payments network company.

The average pump price fell 2 cents to $3.27 a gallon. Prices were 9.7 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, Charlotte Porter

To contact the reporter on this story: Richard Stubbe in Houston at rstubbe1@bloomberg.net

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


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