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U.S. Gasoline Demand Rose 0.7% Last Week, MasterCard Says

U.S. gasoline demand rose 0.7 percent last week, according to data from MasterCard Inc.

Drivers bought 8.63 million barrels a day of gasoline in the week ended Oct. 12, up from 8.57 million the prior week, MasterCard’s SpendingPulse report showed today.

Fuel consumption was 3.9 percent below a year earlier, the largest decline in six weeks.

Fuel use over the past four weeks fell 2.1 percent below the same period in 2011. Demand by that measure has been lower every week but one since March 18, 2011.

Year-to-date, gasoline demand is 3.8 percent below 2011.

Gasoline consumption in the week ended Oct. 5 declined 1.7 percent from the seven days ended Sept. 28. MasterCard releases weekly data every two weeks.

The lowest demand this year through Oct. 12 was 8.01 million barrels on Feb. 10. The highest consumption level reached was 9.36 million barrels on May 25.

The average pump price rose 4 cents in the past week to $3.82 a gallon. Drivers are paying 12 percent more than a year earlier. Prices reached a year-to-date peak of $3.94 on April 6.

The highest prices last week were on the West Coast, where the average rose 26 cents to $4.39 a gallon. The lowest average was on the Gulf Coast, where a gallon gained 1 cent to $3.57.

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.

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