(Adds details on gasoline price, weekly demand)
Dec 26 U.S. retail gasoline demand fell sharply
from year-ago levels with fewer drivers on the roads in the week
before the Christmas holiday, MasterCard said in its weekly
SpendingPulse report on Wednesday.
Gasoline demand in the week to Dec. 21 fell 5.4 percent from
year-ago levels, the data showed. The four-week moving average
for demand also fell last week, down 3.3 from year-ago levels.
Weekly demand, however, was 4.5 percent higher than the week
to Dec 14.
At an average $3.23 a gallon, gasoline prices fell 8 cents
from a week ago but were equal to levels recorded last year,
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.
(Reporting by Selam Gebrekidan; Editing by Leslie Gevirtz and