Fuel Inches Higher

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Fuel Inches Higher

WASHINGTON -- U.S. retail gasoline prices increased for the first time in two weeks, rising half a penny over the last week to average $1.39 per gallon, the Energy Department said.

The latest pump price was down 29 cents from a year ago, according to a survey of more than 800 convenience stores by the department's Energy Information Administration.

The national price for cleaner-burning reformulated gasoline, which is sold at about one-third of the gas stations in cities and smoggier areas, was up 0.4 cents to $1.47 a gallon, EIA said.

The West Coast had the most expensive regular unleaded gasoline, with the average price in the region up 0.7 cents to $1.51a gallon, EIA said.

The lower Atlantic states had the cheapest fuel, with the average price down 0.7 cents to $1.31 a gallon. San Francisco maintained its top spot among major cities in fuel costs, with the price up 1.3 cents to $1.63 a gallon.

The best deal at the pump was found in Houston, where gasoline fell almost a penny at $1.32 a gallon.

The report also showed gasoline prices up 2.3 cents in Chicago to $1.58, up 0.4 cents in Los Angeles to $1.52, down 0.1 cents in New York City to $1.45 and down 0.3 cents in Denver to $1.35. The biggest year-on-year change in city pump prices was in Los Angeles, where gasoline costs dropped 42 cents a gallon.

Separately, the nationwide price for diesel fuel declined 0.8 cents to $1.30 a gallon, down 21 cents from a year ago.

Truckers in New England paid the most for diesel fuel at $1.396 a gallon, unchanged from the prior week. The lower Atlantic states had the cheapest diesel, down 0.8 cents to $1.26 a gallon.