Gasoline continues to become more expensive in Western Pennsylvania.

The average cost of a gallon of unleaded self-serve is $2.479 this week, a 3.9-cent bump from $2.440, AAA East Central reported. That figure is 46.9 cents cheaper than it was a year ago, when fuel cost $2.948.

Pennsylvania’s average rose seven cents to $2.43. The Keystone State is in the Mid-Atlantic/Northeast region, where West Virginia experienced the largest increase this week – nine cents to $2.21, according to AAA. Virginia ($1.92) has the lowest average.

The national figure increased four cents to $2.17, which is about 50 cents cheaper than it was last July Fourth.

Locally, the city of Washington’s average bumped up again, but by a mere 1.7 cents to $2.436 from $2.419. That is the second-lowest price among 22 Western Pennsylvania cities and towns monitored by AAA. The city’s average has fallen 33.3 cents since Jan. 1.

Uniontown’s average ($2.486) is the ninth-lowest in Western Pennsylvania.

New Castle’s average edged up again – 1.5 cents to $2.407 – but for the 14th week in a row, that city has the cheapest fuel in the Pittsburgh region. Clarion ($2.448) ranks third, one slot behind Washington. DuBois and Mercer share the highest average, $2.500.

Regional gasoline stocks increased by 1.3 million barrels to 75.4 million, according to Energy Information Administration. Further price increases are anticipated.

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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