One week after a significant rise, gasoline prices declined 1.5 cents across Western Pennsylvania.

The average cost of a gallon of unleaded self-serve this week is $2.569, down from $2.584, according to a report Tuesday from AAA East Central. The latest figure is 17.8 cents lower than a year ago ($2.747).

AAA monitors weekly prices in 23 Western Pennsylvania cities and towns.

The greater Washington area, which posted a 19.0-cent leap last week to $2.584, saw its average drop 5.5 cents to $2.529 – the third-lowest price in the region. Washington’s average has fallen 28.6 cents since Jan. 1.

Uniontown’s price also plummeted. The Fayette County seat had the highest average in Western Pennsylvania a week ago at $2.604, but experienced a 7.3-cent decline to $2.531 – the fourth-lowest figure, just behind Washington.

New Castle, for the second straight week, has the lowest average – $2.517 – four-tenths of a penny cheaper than Clarion. About eight cents separate the lowest to highest marks.

Pennsylvania’s average decreased seven-tenths of a penny to $2.518. The national figure also dipped, by two cents to $2.21, which is 35 cents lower than this time last year. Averages are a few cents lower in most states.

The U.S. average between Memorial Day and Labor Day was $2.15, the lowest mark since 2004.

Demand nosedived this summer, according to AAA, leading to increased supply and lower pump prices. The Energy Information Administration reported that gasoline supply is 5.2 million barrels higher than a year ago.

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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