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In one of the rare recent increases for a late-summer week, U.S. retail gasoline prices unexpectedly rose in the week to August 22, by US$0.044 to US$ 2.193 per gallon, according to data by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).
Gasoline prices have dropped during this particular week in eight of the past ten years, and last week saw the biggest increase for this week since a US$0.062 rise in 2005.
In the previous two August weeks, U.S. average gasoline prices had stood at US$2.150 in the week to August 8 and at US$2.149 in the week to August 15.
In the week to August 22, gasoline prices rose in all regions, with the East Coast increasing by US$.051, and New England up by US$ 0.062.
U.S. on-highway diesel fuel prices also increased in all regions last week, with the average national price rising to US$2.370, up by US$ 0.060 from the week of August 15.
In its Short-Term Energy Outlook, the EIA said earlier this month that U.S. regular gasoline retail prices this summer, between April and September, were expected to average US$2.19/gallon, US$0.06/gal lower than what it had forecast in the previous outlook, and US$0.44/gal lower than last summer. For full-2016, U.S. gasoline prices are projected to average US$2.06/gal and to rise to an average US$2.26/gal in 2017.
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In the same energy outlook, the EIA also forecast that motor gasoline consumption would increase by 150,000 b/d, or 1.7 percent, to 9.31 million b/d in 2016, which would be the highest annual average gasoline consumption on record, beating the previous all-time high from 2007.
Last week EIA said in its weekly update on inventories that gasoline stockpiles were down in the week to August 12 by as much as 2.7 million barrels but, like crude, too high for the season.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.