Bloomberg News

U.S. Gasoline Use Declines to Seven-Year Low, MasterCard Says

January 12, 2012

Jan. 10 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. gasoline demand fell 1.4 percent last week to the lowest level in more than seven years of records, according to MasterCard Inc.

Drivers bought 8.04 million barrels a day of gasoline in the week ended Jan. 6, down from 8.16 million the week before, according to MasterCard’s SpendingPulse report. MasterCard’s data goes back to July 2004.

Fuel demand, which has sunk 15 percent in two weeks, slipped below year-earlier levels for the 19th consecutive time last week, declining 4.1 percent from 2010. Gasoline use over the previous four weeks was 3.3 percent below a year earlier, the 42nd consecutive decline in that measure.

Gasoline consumption in 2011 fell 1.6 percent from 2010, according to the second-biggest payments network company.

The average pump price increased 7 cents to $3.33 a gallon. Prices were 8.5 percent higher than a year earlier.

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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