WASHINGTON - Gasoline prices have been slowly climbing over the last six weeks after hitting their lowest monthly average since February 2004 at $1.69 in December, according to the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Energy Information Administration (EIA).

The EIA released its Short-Term Energy Outlook and raised its forecast for average U.S. gasoline prices in 2009 to $1.95 per gallon, up from $1.87 in January, while average diesel price projections for 2009 remained fairly steady at $2.28 per gallon.

Natural gas consumption and prices continued to fall with the economic downturn, despite last month’s cold weather throughout much of the United States. Prices are expected to average $5.01 per thousand cubic feet in 2009, down 86 cents from what the agency was forecasting only one month ago - and down significantly from 2008’s average of $9.13.

Publication date:02/16/2009