Gasoline prices have dipped across Western Pennsylvania for a second consecutive week. But again, the decrease was minimal.

The average for a gallon of unleaded self-serve declined by 1.7 cents this week to $3.068, AAA East Central announced Monday afternoon. That followed a 1.8-cent dropoff the week before. Gas this week is 3.1 cents cheaper than it was a year ago.

Washington’s price fell slightly this week – four-tenths of a cent – from $3.070 to $3.066. Washington’s average has jumped 60.5 cents from $2.461 Jan. 8.

The city’s average is the 10th-lowest among 22 Western Pennsylvania cities and towns monitored by AAA. Altoona, for the fourth week in a row, has the cheapest gas at $2.841. Only two other towns have averages under $3.00: New Castle ($2.952) and DuBois ($2.970).

Kittanning ($3.168) has the most expensive fuel, slightly higher than Warren ($3.159).

Pennsylvania’s average declined two cents to $3.00, but that is highest figure of any state in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast region, where prices are cheaper. Tennessee ($2.54) has the least expensive gas in the region.

Gasoline stocks fell by 700,000 gallons in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast, dropping to 59.9 million barrels, according to the Energy Information Administration. That is a 3.3 million deficit compared with a year ago. An increase in refinery utilization could help raise stock levels, keeping gas prices stable.

The national average dipped a penny to $2.85, as prices dropped by six cents in some states. Fuel costs increased by a nickel in several Midwest states because of ongoing refinery maintenance.

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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