Fuel prices continue to recover from their lowest levels in years, with both diesel and gasoline increasing over the past week, according to new U.S. Energy Department figures released on Tuesday.
The average cost of on-highway diesel is up 3 cents from the week before to $2.865 per gallon, its second consecutive weekly increase since hitting a five-year low of $2.831 the first week of February. Compared to the same time a year ago it is $1.124 less.
The Rocky Mountain region was the only section of the country to record a price decrease from last week, rising 0.6 cent, for an average of $2.77 per gallon. It's also the least expensive region of the country.
The smallest regional hike was in the Lower Atlantic states, where it rose 1.9 cents for an average of $2.841. The largest was in the West Coast region where it picked up 7.3 cents to average $2.997 per gallon.
The highest regional price for diesel is in the New England and Central Atlantic sections of the U.S. at $3.084 per gallon, both up more than 4 cents from a week earlier.
Meantime, the average cost of regular grade gasoline recorded a bigger week-to-week increase than diesel, 8.3 cents, hitting $2.274. Compared to the same time a year earlier the price is nearly $1.11 less.
Gasoline prices increased in all regions over the past week, ranging from a low of $1.995 per gallon in the Rocky Mountain region to a high of $2.622 in the West Coast region.
Oil prices on Tuesday continued their recent rally, recovering 9% in the last three trading days, closing at $53.53 per barrel in New York trading. Political unrest in Ukraine and a broadening conflict between Egypt and the Islamic State, along with a fiery oil train derailment in West Virginia on Monday, were reportedly the reason for the recent surge. Compared to last Tuesday’s opening price crude has picked just a little more than $1 per barrel.