Diesel prices post biggest single-week increase ever

| Tuesday, August 16, 2005

The cost of diesel jumped a record 16 cents for the week ending Aug. 15, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. That’s the biggest one-week increase since the department began keeping records.

The national average rose to $2.567 per gallon, a staggering 74.2-cents higher than prices for the same week in 2004.

The highest prices were again found in California , which posted a 9.9-cent increase for the week, bringing the cost to an average of $3.042 per gallon for the state. The rest of the West Coast wasn’t far behind, with diesel prices rising 9 cents to $2.891 per gallon.

The biggest increase for the week, however, was in the Midwest , where diesel prices skyrocketed 18.8 cents to $2.524 per gallon.

All other regions saw at least a 10-cent increase. The East Coast jumped 15.8 cents to $2.544 per gallon. The Central Atlantic region came in at $2.633 per gallon. New England posted an average of $2.618 per gallon, while the Lower Atlantic region was $2.499 per gallon.

The Gulf Coast region posted an average price of $2.481 per gallon, while the Rocky Mountain region came in at $2.615 per gallon.

The rising fuel costs are starting to have a bigger effect on the economy. The Associated Press reported that overall inflation in July was driven higher by a 3.8 percent jump in energy costs.

Even retail giant Wal-Mart, which allied itself with the American Trucking Association in the fight against fuel surcharge legislation in the Highway Bill, is feeling the pinch.

Chief executive officer Lee Scott said in a statement on Aug. 15 that rising gas prices cut into the store’s retail sales for the second quarter. Scott said he was worried about the effect rising oil prices would have on sales for the rest of the year.

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