February 28, 2012 / 7:47 PM / 8 years ago

UPDATE 1-US gasoline demand down 7 pct yr/yr as price rises -MasterCard

* Prices up 7 cents to $3.60 a gallon

* Gasoline demand up 2.5 pct in week to Feb. 24

* Demand down 6.9 pct from year ago, prices 11.1 pct higher (Adds quote, graphic link)

NEW YORK, Feb 28 (Reuters) - U.S. gasoline demand rose 2.5 percent last week as motorists filled up for the Presidents Day holiday but was down 6.9 percent from a year ago on higher fuel costs, MasterCard said in its weekly SpendingPulse report on Tuesday.

In the latest week to Feb. 24, gasoline prices rose 7 cents to average $3.60 a gallon nationally, and were 11.1 percent higher than a year earlier, MasterCard said.

The four-week moving average demand dropped 6 percent compared with last year, the 49th consecutive year-over-year decline.

“Gasoline demand continues to post steeper year-over-year declines as we near the end of February, in tandem with the steady rise in gasoline prices,” said John Gamel, gasoline analyst with MasterCard.

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 David Sheppard; Editing by Marguerita Choy)

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