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Gasoline Demand Falls 2.7% Amid Record Prices, MasterCard Says  Ken Garen
 Jun 24, 2008 15:37 PDT 

Gasoline Demand Falls 2.7% Amid Record Prices, MasterCard Says

By Barbara Powell

June 24 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. gasoline demand fell 2.7 percent last week, a
sign motorists are cutting back on vacation plans as pump prices touch
records, a MasterCard Inc. report today showed.

Consumers purchased an average 9.45 million barrels of gasoline a day in the
week ended June 20, down from 9.71 million a year earlier, MasterCard, the
second-biggest credit-card company, said in its weekly SpendingPulse report.
It was the ninth consecutive week of declines from the year-earlier period.

Demand rose 1.5 percent from the previous week.

``High gasoline prices are depressing the normal peak driving season that
occurs this time of year,'' Michael McNamara, vice president of research and
analysis for MasterCard Advisors, said in an e-mail.

The national average pump price for regular gasoline rose 3 cents to $4.07 a
gallon, up 36 percent from a year earlier and the highest in data going back
to October 2006, the report showed. Prices on the West Coast rose 7 cents to
an average $4.45 a gallon.

The report from Purchase, New York-based MasterCard was assembled by
MasterCard Advisors, the company's consulting arm, and is based on credit
card swipes and cash and check payments at about 140,000 U.S. gasoline

The Energy Department estimated demand of 9.25 million barrels a day for the
week ended June 13. MasterCard said demand was 9.1 million barrels a day for
the same period. The government's next petroleum report is set for release

Visa Inc. is the biggest credit card company by transactions processed.

To contact the reporter on this story: Barbara Powell in Dallas at
Last Updated: June 24, 2008 14:00 EDT

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