U.S. gasoline demand down as price rise - MasterCard

NEW YORK Tue Jan 8, 2013 1:59pm EST

NEW YORK Jan 8 (Reuters) - U.S. retail gasoline demand dropped over the last two weeks as pump prices rose, MasterCard said in its weekly SpendingPulse report on Tuesday.

Demand fell 3.5 percent in the week to Jan 4, following a 9.5 percent drop in the week before, MasterCard data showed. Last week's gasoline consumption was 2.8 percent lower than a year ago.

A gallon of gasoline sold for $3.30 last week, 3.00 cents a gallon higher than in the week before. Prices, however, were 0.9 percent lower than during the same period a year earlier.

The four-week moving average for demand also fell in the week to Jan. 4, down 2.9 percent from year-ago levels.

MasterCard Advisors, a unit of MasterCard Inc, estimates retail gasoline demand based on aggregate sales in the MasterCard payments system coupled with estimates for other payment forms including cash and checks.

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