US gasoline demand falls in two weeks to Sept. 28-MasterCard

NEW YORK, Oct. 2 (Reuters) - U.S. retail gasoline demand fell over the past two weeks and continued a downward year-on-year trend, according to the bi-weekly SpendingPulse report from MasterCard released on Tuesday.

Gasoline use in the world's top oil consumer dropped 0.9 percent over the two weeks ending Sept. 28, compared with the same period last year, MasterCard said. Demand dipped by 1.1 percent during the week to Sept. 28 and 0.8 percent in the week to Sept. 21 when compared with year-ago levels.

Following the end of the U.S. summer driving season, weekly consumption of retail gasoline dropped from more than 9.1 million barrels per day at the end of August, to 8.66 million bpd in the week to September 21, before rising slightly to 8.72 million bpd in the week to Sept. 28, the report showed.

The demand drop came even as the average price of retail gasoline fell by 6 cents per gallon over the past two weeks, after increasing by 53 cents a gallon in the past 11 weeks.

"Prices at the pump remain elevated," SpendingPulse said. Prices were nearly 10 percent higher than year-ago levels, it said.

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.

(Reporting by Joshua Schneyer; editing by Andrew Hay)

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