Diesel and gasoline prices crept up slightly this week across much of the U.S., though analysts expect they will start to decline soon as global oil prices retreated in the face of less-than-expected job creation levels reported by the U.S. Dept. of Labor last Friday.
According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), the average price for diesel fuel in the U.S. crept up 6/10ths of a penny to $4.148 per gallon versus $4.142 per gallon last week.
Diesel prices stayed flat or declined in half of the regions tracked by EIA, dropping the most in California – by nearly two cents to $4.40 per gallon – and on the West Coast by nearly a penny to $4.411 per gallon.
The cost for diesel increased the most this week in New England, the agency noted, increasing nearly two cents to reach $4.278 per gallon, followed by the Gulf Coast – with an almost penny-and-a-half jump to $4.063 per gallon – and the Midwest, where a nearly penny-and-a-half jump also occurred as diesel reached $4.055 per gallon.
The cost of gasoline at the nation’s pumps barely budged this week, EIA noted, with the average price in the U.S. dropping barely 2/10ths of a penny to $3.939 per gallon compared to last week.
Gasoline prices declined in only three of the 10 regions tracked by the agency, falling the most in the Midwest by four and a half cents to $3.86 per gallon, followed by the West Coast where prices slid nearly three cents to $4.203 per gallon.
By contrast, the New England area saw prices increase over seven cents this week versus last to $3.968 per gallon, followed by the Central Atlantic with a five cent rise to $3.974 per gallon and the Rocky Mountain region with a four cent increase to $3.788 per gallon.
However, many analysts believe fuel prices could start dropping soon largely because of a retreat in global oil prices – and the cost of oil makes up the lion’s share of the cost per gallon of gasoline and diesel, respectively 72% and 65%, according to EIA.
Global trading firm Forex noted that global crude oil prices tumbled sharply yesterday, falling $1.90 to $101.41 per barrel – a 1.8% decline – on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Forex’s analysts said doubts about the strength of the U.S. economic recovery in part crept into oil markets after data from the Dept. of Labor on Friday showed 120,000 jobs were generated in March – well short of expectations for a gain of 210,000.