Bloomberg News

U.S. Gasoline Consumption Rose 3.4% Last Week, MasterCard Says

February 22, 2012

Feb. 22 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. gasoline demand rose 3.4 percent last week to 8.28 million barrels a day from a record low, MasterCard Inc. said.

The gain was the first in three weeks, according to MasterCard’s SpendingPulse report. The previous week’s consumption was 8.01 million, the lowest level in MasterCard data that began in July 2004.

Demand was 6.4 percent below the same week in 2011. It was the fifth week in a row that consumption dropped more than 5 percent from the year-earlier level.

The average pump price rose 3 cents from the previous week to $3.53 a gallon, up 12 percent in the past year.

“These declines in gasoline demand have been growing larger in tandem with the steady rise in gasoline prices,” John Gamel, a gasoline analyst and director of economic analysis for SpendingPulse, said in the report.

Gasoline use over the previous four weeks was 5.7 percent below the 2011 period, the 48th consecutive decline in that measure.

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: Charlotte Porter, David Marino

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

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Bill Banker at bbanker@bloomberg.net


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