It is not a happy new gasoline report for Western Pennsylvania.

The average price of a gallon of unleaded self-serve is $2.863 this week, up 4.7 cents from $2.816 last week, AAA East Central reported Monday afternoon. That follows three consecutive small weekly declines.

The current regional price is 40.2 cents higher than it was a year ago, at $2.461.

Washington’s average, correspondingly, rose 5.0 cents to $2.768, from $2.718. This week’s figure, however, is the second-lowest among 22 Western Pennsylvania cities and towns monitored by AAA, behind Altoona ($2.744). Brookville ($2.806) and New Castle ($2.808) are third and fourth.

This is the fifth week in a row Washington is among the lowest five.

Meadville ($2.950), for the third week in a row, has the most expensive fuel, 0.7 cents higher than Clarion ($2.943). Uniontown ($2.881) ranks 15th.

Pennsylvania’s average jumped four cents to $2.79 – the highest among states in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast region, and in the top 10 nationally for a second straight week. A number of states in the region experienced increases up to six cents, with the lowest averages being in Virginia ($2.35) and Delaware ($2.40).

Gasoline stocks decreased by 600,000 barrels, according to Energy Information Administration, for a total of 62.3 million. Price increases are expected over the next week.

The national average jumped four cents to $2.58, 31 cents 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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