For the sixth week in a row, Western Pennsylvania motorists can revel in lower pump prices.

The average price of a gallon of unleaded self-serve dropped 3.9 cents from last week, from $2.811 to $2.772, AAA East Central announced Monday afternoon. Fuel across the region has dropped 15.2 cents over the past three weeks, and the new average is 32.4 cents cheaper than it was a year ago, at $3.096.

Washington’s price dipped 4.8 cents over the week, from $2.834 to $2.786. That ranks 12th among 22 Western Pennsylvania cities and towns monitored by AAA. Washington’s figure has dropped 18.6 cents over the past three weeks.

For the 17th time in 18 weeks, Altoona has the cheapest gasoline in the region with an average of $2.544. That is 6.1 cents cheaper than the area with the second-lowest average, Meadville ($2.605).

Mercer ($2.913) has the most expensive gas, slightly higher than Warren ($2.903).

Pennsylvania’s average declined three cents to $2.75. Average prices across the state run from $2.29 to $2.79, a significantly lower range from Labor Day 2018. Prices then went from $2.59 to $3.03.

Fuel costs this week also declined in all of the other states in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast region.

There was a 1% drop in regional refinery utilization, but gasoline stocks grew by 781,000 barrels in the region, according to the Energy Information Administration. This is due to an increase in imports, which compensate for the shutdown of the Philadelphia Energy Solutions refinery this summer.

The national average fell two cents to $2.59, which is 24 cents cheaper than a year ago. Averages in nearly two-thirds of all states are about 25 cents lower than they were a year ago, AAA reported.

Business Writer

Rick Shrum joined the Observer-Reporter as a reporter in 2012, after serving as a section editor, sports reporter and copy editor at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Rick has won eight individual writing awards, including two Golden Quills.

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