September 18, 2012 / 10:06 PM / in 7 years

US gasoline demand falls in two weeks to September 14: MasterCard

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. retail gasoline demand fell during the past two weeks as the summer driving season came to a close, according to the bi-weekly SpendingPulse report from MasterCard released on Tuesday.

Gasoline use in the world’s top oil consumer dropped 1 percent over the two weeks to September 14 compared with the same period last year, MasterCard said. Demand dipped 1.6 percent during the week to September 14 and 0.3 percent in the week to September 7 compared with year-ago levels.

As the driving season waned, weekly consumption of gasoline dropped from 9.1 million barrels per day in the week to August 31 to just under 8.5 million bpd in the week to September 7, according to the report. In the week to September 14, demand rebounded to 8.76 million bpd.

The decrease came amid a 6-cent rise in average U.S. gasoline prices over the past two weeks, and a 43-cent rise over the eight-week period, MasterCard said.

Over the four weeks to September 14, demand was down 0.4 percent compared with last year.

MasterCard Advisors, a unit of MasterCard Inc (MA.N), 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 Matthew Robinson; Editing by Marguerita Choy and Dan Grebler

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