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    U.S. Gasoline Demand Dips

    Stays below year-ago levels.

    As high prices eat away at U.S. consumption, retail gasoline demand fell last week, holding below year-ago levels for the seventh week in a row, according to MasterCard Advisors.

    American motorists pumped an average of 9.051 million barrels per day in the week that ended March 7, 1.1 percent lower than they did the previous week and 3.7 percent below the same week last year, Reuters reported.

    The four-week average demand, which is usually a more accurate reflection of longer-term trend, of 9.074 million bpd also showed a decline in demand of 3.4 percent versus last year.

    Average gasoline prices rose 3 cents to $3.18 a gallon, the highest level since early June 2007 and the second-highest level on record, according to the report.

    MasterCard Advisors estimates retail gasoline demand based on aggregate sales activity in the MasterCard payments system coupled with estimates for all other payment forms. MasterCard Advisors is a unit of MasterCard Inc.

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