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    MasterCard Report Underscores Gas Demand Decline

    National gas prices continue to drop.

    NEW YORK -- The U.S. demand for retail gasoline dropped to its lowest level since September 2005, according to a MasterCard Advisors report published Tuesday.

    "There was a significant slowdown in consumer spending across most categories that we track," Michael McNamara, vice president of research and analysis at MasterCard Advisors, told Bloomberg News. "It’s kind of a ripple effect that runs through the different areas of consumer spending."

    MasterCard’s latest SpendingPulse report, released Oct. 3, found American motorists pumped an average of 8.625 million barrels per day during the previous week, which was down 5 percent from the previous week. Year-over-year, gasoline demand was down 9.5 percent which forced gasoline prices down 12 cents to a new national average of $3.71 per gallon.

    "The price story is still there, but the overall economic slowdown really seems to be capturing people over the last week or two, especially in the last week, and we think that might be showing up in some of these gasoline numbers as well," McNamara told Bloomberg News.

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