The U.S. Energy Information Administration expects higher on-highway diesel fuel prices in October and November to increase the national average in 2012. Retail prices, which averaged $3.84 per gallon in 2011, are expected to average $3.96 per gallon in 2012. The EIA expects the 2013 average to drop to $3.73.
After a sharp increase in retail gasoline prices earlier this year, the monthly average price for regular grade gasoline reached $3.90 per gallon in April. Prices then fell for three consecutive months, averaging $3.44 per gallon in July.
Rising crude prices contributed to an increase in regular gasoline retail prices to $3.84 per gallon on September 3. EIA expects retail gasoline prices to begin declining later this month as the gasoline market recovers and transitions from summer-grade to winter-grade gasoline specifications.
Projected regular gasoline retail prices average $3.58 per gallon during the fourth quarter of 2012, up from the $3.30 per gallon projected in last month's Outlook. Projected regular gasoline retail prices average $3.64 per gallon in 2012 and $3.43 per gallon in 2013, both about 11 cents per gallon higher than in last month's Outlook.