WASHINGTON, D.C. --- For the first time since Feb. 11, the U.S. average retail price for regular gasoline fell this past week. The average slipped to $3.259 per gallon, a decline of 2.5 cents from the previous week, the Energy Department's Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported.

Prices on a regional basis fell throughout the country, except for the Rocky Mountain region. The average price on the East Coast dropped to $3.241 per gallon. The price fell by 1.2 cents from the previous week and was 66.6 cents above the price last year.

The price in the Midwest dropped the most of any region, going down by 6.0 cents to $3.192 per gallon --- an increase of 67.4 cents from a year ago and 13.4 cents below the all-time high price in the region set May 21, 2007. In the Gulf Coast region, the price slipped by 1.1 cents to $3.166 per gallon --- 72.4 cents higher than the price a year ago.

The only region of the country where the average price increased was the Rocky Mountains, where the price jumped by 2.0 cents to $3.198 per gallon --- 66.0 cents higher than the price a year ago. The average price on the West Coast remained the highest of any region in the country, and registered the smallest drop of any of the five major regions. The average price dipped by only 0.6 cent to $3.517 per gallon, 50.1 cents above the price last year. In California, the average price for regular grade was essentially unchanged, down by only 0.2 cent at $3.602 per gallon, 45.0 cents above the price a year ago.

For the sixth week in a row, average retail diesel prices increased. For the fifth consecutive week, the U.S. average price for retail diesel reached yet another all-time high. However, while prices continued to increase, the pace of the increase slowed considerably with the U.S. average price moving up by 1.5 cents to $3.989 per gallon. This represented an increase of $1.313 above the price last year.

On a regional basis, diesel prices remained at all-time high levels in all regions of the country, exceeding $4.10 per gallon in some areas. On the East Coast, the average diesel price was up by 1 cent to $4.045 per gallon, $1.388 per gallon higher than last year.

In the Midwest, the diesel price increased by 0.6 cent, the smallest increase of any region, to reach $3.964 per gallon, an increase of $1.309 from a year ago. The diesel price in the Gulf Coast went up 1.4 cents to $3.928 per gallon, the lowest price of any region.

The average diesel price in the Rocky Mountains increased the most of any region, moving up by 6.1 cents to $3.953 per gallon. On the West Coast, the average price increased by 3.8 cents to $4.056 per gallon, $1.253 above the price a year ago. The average diesel price in California grew by 3.6 cents to $4.119 per gallon, $1.250 above the price a year ago.