Diesel prices across the United States increased 2.4 cents a gallon in the week ending July 18, rising for the second consecutive week just a crude oil prices fell, largely because of European and U.S. debt concerns.
The national average price hit $3.923 a gallon, up $1.024 from the same period a year ago, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said. On the East Coast, the Lower Atlantic sub-section saw the largest increase in diesel prices, up 4 cents to $3.912 a gallon.
The Rocky Mountain region, however, saw the only significant decline in prices, down 1.1 cent to $3.827 a gallon. Diesel prices on the West Coast were nearly flat at $4.005 a gallon.
Despite the increases in the past two weeks, average prices have fallen 20.1 cents, or 4.8 percent, since reaching its high point this year the week of May 2 at $4.124 a gallon.
Crude oil prices in the coming week will likely be dependent on investors’ confidence in European and American authorities’ ability to prevent debt crisis from further eroding the economies. Crude oil for August delivery fell 1.35 percent to $95.93 a barrel by the end of trading Monday on the New York Mercantile Exchange
Crude oil prices will likely continue to decrease if European leaders can’t draw up a strategy this week to restructure Greece’s debt.
Similarly, crude oil prices will decline if it looks like Republicans and Democrats won’t reach a consensus on the debt ceiling before the Aug. 2 deadline.
If the U.S.’s credit rating is downgraded, as threatened by Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services and Moody’s Investors Service, crude oil will drop because investors’ confidence in the U.S. economy will decrease.