WASHINGTON – The average price U.S. drivers pay for gasoline fell about a penny last week to $2.32 a gallon after hitting a record the previous week, the government said Monday.
The national average pump price for unleaded gasoline is still about 39 cents above one year ago, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration's (search) weekly survey of service stations. It was the first decline in seven weeks, according to EIA data.
When adjusted for inflation, retail gasoline prices are still well below the record $3.12 a gallon hit in March 1981.
High crude oil prices, which comprise most of the cost of producing gasoline, are "certainly a burden," White House economist Ben Bernanke (search) said Monday.
"In terms of overall economic growth, the higher oil prices so far have not depressed economic growth very substantially," Bernanke told journalists.
In the weekly EIA survey, the West Coast had the most expensive regular unleaded gasoline, with the price up 1.7 cents at $2.50 a gallon. San Francisco (search) was at the top of the agency's survey of cities, with the price of gasoline up 2.3 cents at $2.60.
The Gulf Coast states, where many refineries are located, had the cheapest fuel, with the price down a penny at $2.23 per gallon. Among major cities, Houston had the lowest pump price, at $2.20 a gallon, up slightly from the previous week.
Separately, the average price for diesel fuel fell 1.6 cents to $2.39 a gallon after hitting a record above $2.40 the previous week, the EIA said.
Truckers in the New England states paid the most for diesel at $2.53 a gallon, while Gulf Coast states had the cheapest diesel at $2.33 a gallon.