U.S. gasoline demand was little changed last week even as prices at the pump sank to the lowest level since February, according to MasterCard Inc. (MA:US)
Drivers bought 9.01 million barrels a day of gasoline in the week ended June 22, up 0.1 percent from 9 million barrels consumed the prior week, MasterCard’s SpendingPulse report showed. This month MasterCard changed the release schedule to every two weeks from weekly.
The average pump price declined 7 cents in the past week to $3.48 a gallon, the lowest level since Feb. 3. Prices are down 46 cents since their year-to-day peak of $3.94 on April 6. Drivers are paying 3.9 percent less than a year earlier.
The highest prices and biggest declines were on the West Coast, where the average fell 14 cents to $3.89 a gallon. The lowest prices were on the Gulf Coast, where a gallon declined 6 cents to $3.26.
Fuel consumption was 3.5 percent below the year-earlier level, the 43rd straight drop in that measure. Year-to-date gasoline demand is 4.7 percent below 2011.
Fuel use over the previous four weeks fell 3.2 percent below the same period in 2011, a record 66th consecutive drop 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. (V:US) is the biggest payments network company by transactions processed.
To contact the reporter on this story: Barbara J Powell in Dallas at firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dan Stets at email@example.com