September 14, 2009 / 9:09 PM / 8 years ago

U.S. gasoline price falls for fifth week - gov't

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WASHINGTON, Sept 14 (Reuters) - U.S. drivers continued to pay less at the pump as the retail price for gasoline declined for the fifth week in a row, the U.S. Energy Department said on Monday.

The national average price for regular unleaded gasoline fell 1.1 cents during the last week to $2.58 a gallon, down $1.26 from a year ago, the department's Energy Information Administration said in its weekly survey of service stations.

Crude oil accounts for about 60 percent of the cost of making gasoline, and falling crude oil prices in past weeks have allowed refiners to pass on their savings to consumers filling up at the pump.

The price for U.S. crude oil fell 43 cents on Monday, settling at $68.86 a barrel in futures trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

The EIA found the West Coast had the most expensive gasoline at $3.04 a gallon, up 4 cents. By city, San Francisco had the highest price at $3.20, up 6.4 cents.

The Gulf Coast states had the lowest regional price at $2.38 a gallon, down 2.5 cents. Houston had the cheapest city pump price at $2.32, down 2.1 cents.

The agency also said gasoline prices were up 4 cents at $3.15 in Los Angeles; unchanged at $2.93 in Seattle; down 1.6 cents at $2.66 in New York; down 0.4 cent at $2.63 in Chicago; down 3.5 cents at $2.61 in Miami; down 1.6 cents at $2.59 in Boston; down 1.6 cents at $2.47 in Cleveland and down 2.5 cents at $2.45 in Denver.

Separately, the average price for diesel fuel was down 1.3 cents to $2.63 a gallon, dropping for the second week in a row.

Diesel prices are down $1.39 from a year ago, the EIA said.

The West Coast had the most expensive diesel at $2.80 a gallon, up 0.9 cent. The Gulf Coast region had the cheapest diesel fuel at $2.56, down 2 cents. (Editing by Christian Wiessner)

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