U.S. Gasoline Demand Dropped 0.1% Last Week, MasterCard Says
U.S. gasoline demand fell 0.1 percent last week, according to data from MasterCard Inc. (MA)
Drivers bought 8.66 million barrels a day of gasoline in the week ended Oct. 26, down from 8.67 million the prior week, MasterCard’s SpendingPulse report showed today.
Fuel consumption was 1.3 percent below a year earlier.
Fuel use over the past four weeks fell 2.4 percent below the same period in 2011. Demand by that measure has been lower every week but one since March 18, 2011.
Consumption in the week ended Oct. 19 rose 0.5 percent from the seven days ended Oct. 12 and was 1.9 percent below a year earlier. MasterCard releases weekly data every two weeks.
Year-to-date, gasoline demand is 3.8 percent below 2011.
The lowest demand this year through Oct. 26 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 fell 14 cents in the past week to $3.62 a gallon. Drivers are paying 4.9 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 fell 14 cents to $4.19 a gallon. The lowest average was in the Midwest, where a gallon declined 19 cents to $3.42.
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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