Post-Thanksgiving price spike for diesel while gasoline declines

Average retail pump prices in the U.S. for diesel and gasoline diverged following the Thanksgiving holiday, according to data tracked by the Energy Information Administration (EIA), with diesel prices increasing while gasoline prices declined.

EIA reported that the average retail pump price for diesel in the U.S. jumped 3.9 cents to $3.883 per gallon during the first week of December, though that price is 14.4 cents per gallon cheaper when compared to the same week in 2012.

Diesel passed the $4 per gallon mark in two regions, the agency noted: New England ($4.040 per gallon) and California ($4.036).

The West Coast when excluding California experienced the highest one-week spike in diesel prices, EIA said, with prices rising 5.7 cents to $3.29 per gallon. The Midwest followed with a 5 cent spike to $3.879 per gallon while the Gulf Coast region recorded the lowest average diesel prices in the country at $3.78 per gallon.

By contrast, average U.S. retail pump prices for gasoline declined 2.1 cents to $3.272 per gallon, according to the EIA’s figures, while is 12.2 cents per gallon cheaper compared to the same week in 2012.

Four out of the nine U.S. fuel pricing regions experienced gasoline price increases this week, the agency said: New England (a 2.2 cent increase to $3.475 per gallon), California (a 1.8 cent jump to $3.441), the West Coast excluding California (a 1.8 cent spike to $3.475), and the East Coast (a 3/10ths of a penny increase to $3.389).

EIA added that the Midwest experienced the largest one week drop in average gasoline prices – a 7 cent decline to $3.121 per gallon – while the Rocky Mountain region served as home to the cheapest average retail gasoline pump price at $3.113 per gallon.

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