Pump prices jumped across Western Pennsylvania this week.

The average cost of a gallon of unleaded self-serve is $2.440, an 8.6-cent increase from $2.354 a week ago, AAA East Central reported this week. That figure is 44.4 cents cheaper than it was a year ago, when fuel cost $2.884.

Pennsylvania’s average rose more than four cents to $2.36, the highest in the Mid-Atlantic/Northeast region. West Virginia, for the second week in a row, absorbed a nine-cent increase to $2.12, according to AAA. Virginia ($1.92) has the lowest average.

The national figure increased three cents to $2.13, which is 53 cents cheaper than a year ago.

Locally, the city of Washington’s average soared 7.6 cents to $2.419, from $2.343. That is the fourth-lowest price among 22 Western Pennsylvania cities and towns monitored by AAA. The city’s average has fallen 35.0 cents since Jan. 1.

Uniontown’s average ($2.430) is the sixth-lowest in Western Pennsylvania.

New Castle’s average bumped up again – 6.3 cents to $2.392 – but for the 13th week in a row, that city has the cheapest fuel in the Pittsburgh region. Altoona ($2.398) ranks second. Mercer has the most expensive average, $2.491, three cents higher than Warren ($2.461).

Regional gasoline stocks declined by one million barrels to 74.1 million, according to Energy Information Administration. Further price increases are anticipated because more motorists are on the highways.

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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