Gasoline prices increased ever so slightly across Western Pennsylvania this week.

A gallon of unleaded self-serve averages $3.002, two-tenths of a cent higher than a week ago, AAA East Central reported on Monday afternoon. The agency monitors prices in 23 cities and towns in the region, where they have risen in 12 of 16 weeks this year.

This week’s regional figure is 88 cents a gallon higher than it was a year ago, at $2.122.

The greater Washington area experienced a 3.5-cent decrease this week, to $2.853. That is 14.9 cents lower than the regional average and the third-lowest price in Western Pennsylvania. Only New Castle ($2.827) and Sharon ($2.837) have cheaper fuel.

Washington’s figure is 38.5 cents higher than it was on Jan. 1.

Uniontown’s price bumped up by one-tenth of a penny to $2.982, eighth-lowest in Western Pennsylvania. Bradford ($3.102) has the region’s priciest petrol.

The statewide average dropped by two-tenths of a cent to $2.966, about a dime above the U.S. figure of $2.87. The national average rose by a cent, despite demand reaching its highest level in more than a year: 8.9 million barrels per day for the week ending April 9.

Refinery usage, according to AAA, is near pre-pandemic levels. That, combined with rising gasoline stocks and lower crude oil prices, has resulted in flat prices.

The agency, however, said crude prices were rising this week, which could mean increased pump prices down the road.

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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