The average price for a gallon of diesel fuel in the U.S. fell 1.9 cents in the past week, the first drop in eight weeks, but is still high enough to be a concern for smaller fleets.
However, with the U.S. ready for a war with Iraq, analysts said they are concerned about price gouging, as evidenced in the weeks following Sept. 11.
"We are concerned that once a war starts we could see gouging, just like we did for a short period after Sept. 11," Bob Costello, chief economist for the American Trucking Assns., told The Des Moines Register.
The department's Energy Information Administration reported an average price of $1.752, down from $1.771 the previous week.
The average price in New England dipped a penny, to $1.991. Last week it was the first region to record an average of more than $2.