U.S. Gasoline Demand Steady Last Week, MasterCard Says
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)
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) is the biggest payments network company by transactions processed.
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