Maybe all the talk about peak gasoline is bunk. With the price of gas low, and peak driving season upon us, Mastercard reports that U.S. gasoline consumption was the highest it’s been in a year and a half:
Bloomberg: Motorists bought an average 9.695 million barrels of gasoline a day in the week ended June 26, MasterCard, the second-biggest credit-card company, said in its weekly SpendingPulse report. That’s 1.6 per cent above a year earlier and the most since the week ended Dec. 21, 2007.
The rise “is pretty consistent with what’s been going on over the past two to three months,” said Michael McNamara, vice president at Mastercard Advisors, in a telephone interview. “It’s pretty typical going into the July season.”
MasterCard did not release the full report for the week ended June 26. The last report published by the company was for the week ended May 29, which included sales from the three-day Memorial Day holiday. Motorists that week bought an average 9.244 million barrels of gasoline a day.
The national average pump price for regular gasoline reached a 2009 peak of $2.67 a gallon in the week ended June 19, according to the MasterCard data. Prices were 34 per cent below the year-earlier average of $4.07.
Gasoline touched a record $4.10 a gallon in the week ended July 18.
“The runup in gasoline prices and the drawdown in supply implies that the EIA has probably been underreporting demand into June,” said Phil Flynn, vice president of research at PFGBest, a Chicago-based brokerage. “We saw improved consumer confidence in May, people were feeling better that the economy was improving a little bit.”
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