updated 5/16/2005 7:55:22 PM ET 2005-05-16T23:55:22

The retail price of gasoline fell by 2 cents last week to average $2.16 a gallon nationwide, the Energy Department reported Monday.

The weekly government survey said the average price nationwide of regular-grade gasoline was $2.163 per gallon, or 14.6 cents a gallon higher than the same time a year ago.

Pump prices were highest on the West Coast, averaging $2.437 a gallon, and cheapest in the Gulf Coast, where motorists paid on average $2.063 a gallon. In the Midwest, gas averages $2.072 per gallon.

One of the key factors underpinning today’s price of gasoline is the high cost of oil — the result of strong demand, tight global supplies and geopolitical uncertainties.

Light, sweet crude for May delivery fell 6 cents to $48.61 per barrel Monday on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Oil prices are roughly 17 percent higher than a year ago.

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