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NEW YORK -- In its weekly SpendingPulse report, MasterCard Inc. reported that as pump prices spike, U.S. demand for gasoline has dropped 5.8 percent compared to a year prior, Bloomberg News reported.
Consumers purchased an average 9.15 million barrels of gasoline a day in the week ended May 2, down from 9.71 million a year earlier, according to MasterCard. Demand for motor fuel fell 2.5 percent from the previous week. Assembled by MasterCard Advisors, the company's consulting arm, statistics are based on credit card swipes and cash and check payments at about 140,000 U.S. gasoline stations.
The U.S Energy Department reported that the national average pump price for regular gasoline rose 6 cents to $3.61 a gallon, up 20 percent from a year earlier and the highest in data going back to October 2006, according to Bloomberg News. While demand typically rises as the summer months approach, gasoline sales compared to last year has dropped in 12 of the past 15 reports.