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Retail Gas Price Declines for Third Week

September 17, 2003
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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The average U.S. gasoline price fell for the third week in a row, declining 2 cents over the last week to $1.697 a gallon, the government said on Monday.

The national price for regular unleaded gasoline was still up 30 cents from a year ago, based on a weekly survey of service stations by the Energy Department's Energy Information Administration.

And U.S. drivers can expect high gasoline costs through the autumn, with the national monthly pump price not falling below $1.50 a gallon until November, EIA said.

Gasoline costs should decline to a monthly average of $1.67 in September, $1.55 in October and then finally drop below $1.50 in November, the agency said.

The price for cleaner-burning reformulated gasoline, sold in polluted metropolitan areas, fell 2.7 cents in the latest week to $1.824, according to the EIA survey.

The West Coast had the most expensive regular unleaded gasoline, with the average price in the region at $1.979 a gallon, down 4.8 cents, the agency said.

The Gulf Coast states had the cheapest gasoline with an average price of $1.537 a gallon, down 3.2 cents from the prior week.

In urban areas, San Francisco was again the top spot in fuel costs, although the average price was down 2.8 cents at $2.11 a gallon. Houston had the cheapest gasoline in major U.S. cities, with the price down 3.7 cents at $1.515 a gallon.

The report also showed gasoline prices were down 5.6 cents in Los Angeles at $2.056, down 2 cents in New York City at $1.807, down half a penny in Chicago at $1.806, down 0.6 cent in Miami at $1.70 and down 2.2 cents in Denver at $1.677. Separately, the average price for diesel fuel fell 1.7 cents in the latest week to $1.471 a gallon, up 6 cents from a year earlier but the lowest level since early August.

Truckers on the West Coast paid the most for diesel fuel at $1.604 a gallon, down 3.7 cents from the prior week. The lower Atlantic states had the cheapest diesel at $1.407, down a penny from the previous week.

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