U.S. gasoline demand dips on weak economy

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U.S. retail gasoline demand fell last week as a gloomy economic outlook weighed on fuel consumption, MasterCard's SpendingPulse report showed on Tuesday.

Demand dropped 3.5 percent in the week to June 8, compared with year-earlier levels, and was 0.5 percent lower than the previous week, MasterCard said.

"This past week was the third in a row of increasing year-over-year declines, even while prices at the pump continued to fall," said John Gamel, gasoline analyst for MasterCard Advisors SpendingPulse.

Retail gasoline prices were 4.5 percent cheaper than last year, selling at an average $3.58 a gallon at gas stations across the nation, 5 cents lower than the previous week.

Pump prices have fallen 36 cents since peaking at $3.94 for the week ended April 6, the report said.

The four-week moving average for demand fell for the 64th consecutive week, down 1.9 percent from a year earlier.

MasterCard Advisors, a unit of MasterCard Inc, estimates retail gasoline demand based on aggregate sales in the MasterCard payments system coupled with estimates for other payment forms including cash and checks.

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