U.S. Gasoline Use Falls 2.7% From Year Earlier, MasterCard Says

U.S. gasoline consumption declined 2.7 percent last week from a year earlier, the ninth straight week in which demand has fallen short of year-ago levels, according to MasterCard Inc. (MA)

Drivers used 8.78 million barrels a day of gasoline in the week ended Oct. 28, down from 9.03 million a year earlier and from 8.84 million the previous week, according to MasterCard Inc.’s SpendingPulse report.

Averaged over four weeks, fuel demand was lower than a year earlier for the 32nd consecutive week. Gasoline use in 2011 through Oct. 28 is down 1.2 percent from a year earlier, the second-biggest payments network company said.

The average pump price declined 2 cents to $3.45 a gallon. Prices were 23 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 occurred 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. (V) is the biggest payments network company by transactions processed.

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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