August 21, 2012 / 6:47 PM / 5 years ago

Gasoline demand dips as prices rise: MasterCard

NEW YORK (Reuters) - High pump prices restrained gasoline demand over the last two weeks as motorists chose to stay put rather than pay more for the fuel, MasterCard said in its biweekly SpendingPulse report on Tuesday.

Gasoline demand fell 2.3 percent from a year ago in the two weeks ended Friday, August 17, while the price per gallon rose 18 cents, according to the report. At an average of $3.71 a gallon, prices were 3.3 percent higher than a year earlier.

Demand dropped 1.9 percent between the week ended August 10 and the one ended August 17, the report added. Last week’s four-week moving average for demand was 2.7 percent lower than a year earlier.

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

It changed the frequency of its report this summer from weekly to every other week.

Reporting by Selam Gebrekidan; editing by Jim Marshall and John Wallace

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