May 8, 2012 / 6:36 PM / 7 years ago

U.S. gasoline demand dips, price down too-MasterCard

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. gasoline demand fell in the latest week, even though pump prices fell further below levels seen a year ago, MasterCard’s weekly SpendingPulse data showed on Tuesday.

Gasoline consumption in the week to May 4 was down 0.7 percent from the previous week and declined 5.8 percent from the same week in 2011, MasterCard data showed.

Meanwhile, prices at the pump fell 3 cents from the previous week to $3.81 a gallon, 4.3 percent lower than a year earlier.

“While prices have fallen 13 cents in the past four weeks, keep in mind that although falling gasoline prices are positive for gasoline consumption growth they do not always translate to an instantaneous pick-up, and sluggishness in some economic drivers continues to put pressure on gasoline demand,” said John Gamel, gasoline analyst for MasterCard Advisors SpendingPulse.

The four-week moving average for demand fell for the 59th straight time, down 6.1 percent from the comparable period a year ago, MasterCard’s report showed.

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 Edward McAllister

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