Gas demand rose leading up to the 4th

By Reuters
Posted July 7, 2010 at 1:06 p.m.

U.S. weekly retail gasoline demand rose 1.6 percent in the week ending July 2 as the Fourth of July holiday weekend approached, the SpendingPulse report said Wednesday.

Average gasoline demand rose to 9.649 million barrels per day last week, while the national average retail price for gasoline remained unchanged at $2.74 a gallon, the survey showed.In the U.S. summer driving season, which traditionally begins on the Memorial Day weekend at the end of May, gasoline demand and the average price for the fuel typically increase.

U.S. gasoline demand rose 0.2 percent from ta year earlier, the SpendingPulse report said.

“We saw a week over week increase due to (the run up to) July 4, but were nearly flat year over year,” said John Gamel, director of economic analysis for MasterCard Advisors SpendingPulse.

In the last four weeks, gasoline consumption in the world’s top oil consumer fell by an average 1.7 percent year over year.

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

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