Western Pennsylvania pump prices continue to push downward this week.

The average price of a gallon of unleaded self-serve dropped 7.5 cents, to $2.850, AAA East Central announced Monday afternoon. This is the sixth consecutive week gasoline prices have fallen in the region, totaling 25.3 cents. This latest average is 24.1 cents lower than it was a year ago.

Washington’s price dropped again, this time 5.7 cents from $2.908 to $2.851. That is the 11th-lowest price among 22 Western Pennsylvania cities and towns monitored by AAA, but a bump up from sixth-lowest last week.

All 22 towns are posting an average below $3.00. Altoona, for the eighth week in a row, has the cheapest average, this time $2.642. Warren ($2.972) has the most expensive fuel, slightly higher than Kittanning ($2.961).

Pennsylvania’s average fell five cents to $2.84. Averages among states in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic region range from $2.43 in Virginia to $2.86 in New York.

The national average dropped six cents to $2.68, which also is 17 cents cheaper than a month ago and 20 cents less than this time last year.

Prices have been declining consistently since Memorial Day, which, according to AAA, “is unusual for this time of year.” They usually bump upward during the late spring and the summer months because of increased demand. AAA said the most recent Energy Information Administration report showed that domestic gasoline inventories increased by 1 million barrels last week, a factor in the latest dropoff.

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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