Gasoline demand increased 2.4 percent last week when compared with the previous week, according to a survey by MasterCard SpendingPulse.
Compared with the same week last year, demand fell 3.2 percent. The survey has shown eight consecutive weeks of year-over-year declines in weekly demand as gas prices continue to climb.
The average retail price for a gallon of regular gasoline rose 7 cents on average across the nation) and is now about 33 percent higher than a year ago. Gas prices remain at an historic high, and are up 98 cents since the beginning of the year.
Study author Michael McNamara says last week’s rise in demand was a typical seasonal increase, but gasoline consumption is down around 2 percent year-to-date compared to the same period last year.
“The regional year-over-year view shows all regions are consuming less gasoline when compared to a similar week in 2007, with the West Coast showing the most significant decrease while also having the highest average gasoline prices,” McNamara said.
A macroeconomic indicator, SpendingPulse reports on national retail sales and is based on aggregate sales activity in the MasterCard payments network, coupled with estimates for all other payment forms, including cash and check. MasterCard SpendingPulse does not represent MasterCard financial performance. -AP