NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. motorists logged 2.9 percent more miles in September versus last year, new federal data showed, continuing a record-setting pace amid low gasoline prices and lower unemployment.

 

In September, motorists traveled 265.5 billion miles on U.S. roads and highways, the most ever recorded for the month, according to data released on Monday by the U.S. Department of Transportation.

 

U.S. enthusiasm for driving is closely watched by oil traders, since it influences demand for gasoline in the world's largest consumer.

 

U.S. demand for gasoline rose by 2.2 percent in September, or 203,000 bpd, from a year ago to 9.49 million bpd, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

 

Through September, motorists logged 2.414 trillion miles on U.S. roads and highways, the most ever during the first nine months of the year.

The resurgence of gasoline demand may face its biggest test following OPEC's decision last week to limit crude production, which is expected to raise prices.

(Reporting By Jarrett Renshaw; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli)