Gasoline Falls After 4 Weeks of Gains

After enduring record high prices for four weeks in a row, U.S. drivers finally found a little relief at the pump last week as motor fuel prices declined, the government said on Monday.

The national price for regular unleaded gasoline dropped 4.3 cents over the past week to $2.24 a gallon, but is still 42 cents above a year ago, according to a weekly survey of service stations by the Energy Information Administration (search).

The decline at the pump reflects a sharp fall in crude oil prices, which account for about half the cost of making gasoline.

However, high gasoline prices are over.

The Energy Department's (search) analytical arm has forecast that pump prices will hit a monthly peak of $2.35 next month. Gasoline was the most expensive in March 1981, at $3.12 a gallon, when adjusted for inflation, the EIA said.

Separately, truckers also got a break at the pump, as the price for diesel fuel fell 5.7 cents $2.26 a gallon, the EIA said. Still, that was up 54 cents from a year ago.

Truckers on the West Coast paid the most for diesel at $2.55 a gallon, down 3.1 cents from last week. The Gulf Coast states (search) had the cheapest diesel at $2.18 a gallon, down 7.1 cents.