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    U.S. Gasoline Demand Drops By 2.9 Percent Compared to 2010

    MasterCard report cites economic uncertainty and improved fuel efficiency as the culprits.

    NATIONAL REPORT -- U.S. gasoline demand is dropping. Retail gasoline demand fell last week compared to the same week during 2010, reported Reuters.

    Elevated pump prices and fewer people driving due to the current uncertain economic situation were responsible for the demand decline, according to a MaterCard's Inc.'s SpendingPulse report, which was released yesterday.

    Demand dropped by 2.9 percent compared to the same week in 2010. However, pump prices increased dramatically, to the tune of 28.6 percent.

    The average price of a gallon of gasoline was $3.46, which was 10 cents lower than the previous week last month.

    Economic uncertainty wasn't the only reason for declining petroleum demand. According to MasterCard, improved fuel efficiency was another reason.

    Reduced gasoline demand last week is definitely not an anomaly. The four-week moving average for demand has fallen for 28 consecutive weeks, SpendingPulse data showed.

    MasterCard's Advisors division bases its retail fuel demand data based on aggregate sales using its payment system along with estimates for other payments at the pump including cash and checks.

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