WASHINGTON – U.S. retail gasoline prices fell for the first time in five weeks and diesel fuel costs had their first decline in a month, the Energy Department (search) said Monday.
The national pump price for regular unleaded gasoline dropped a slight 0.2 cent over the last week to $1.909 a gallon, up 27 cents from a year ago, according to a survey of service stations by the Energy Information Administration (search).
The EIA, the Energy Department's analytical arm, said truckers also got a break at the pump, with the average price for diesel fuel down almost a penny to $1.983 a gallon, up 42 cents from a year ago.
Lower pump costs mirror the drop in crude oil prices. Oil at the New York Mercantile Exchange (search) settled down $1.20 on Monday to an almost four-week low of $45.28 a barrel as OPEC members signaled they may leave production levels unchanged for the rest of the winter.
The EIA's weekly survey showed the retail price for cleaner-burning reformulated gasoline, sold in polluted metropolitan areas, increased 0.8 cent to $1.949 a gallon.
The West Coast had the most expensive regular unleaded gasoline, with the price up 2 cents to $2.005 a gallon. Los Angeles topped the agency's survey of cities, with the price of gasoline up 2.3 cents to $2.103 a gallon.
The Gulf Coast states had the cheapest fuel, with the price down 0.9 cent to $1.833 per gallon. Among major U.S. cities, Houston had the lowest pump price, with fuel also down 0.9 cent to $1.791 a gallon.
The weekly report also showed gasoline prices were up 1.2 cents to $1.988 in Miami, up 1.8 cents to $1.942 in Cleveland, down 0.4 cent to $1.936 in Chicago, down 0.3 cent to $1.919 in New York City and up 0.1 cent to $1.857 in Seattle.
Truckers in the New England states paid the most for diesel fuel at $2.222 a gallon, down 0.3 cent from the prior week. The Gulf Coast (search) and Midwest states had the cheapest diesel at $1.938 a gallon, down 0.2 cent and down 1.6 cents in each region, respectively.