The winning streak has ended for Western Pennsylvania motorists.

Gasoline prices rose across the region this week, following eight consecutive weekly decreases. The average price of a gallon of unleaded self-serve inched upward to $2.758, a 1.1-cents increase from $2.747, AAA East Central announced Monday afternoon.

The cost of fuel in the regional has dropped 16.6 cents over the past six weeks. This week’s average is 37.0 cents cheaper than it was a year ago, at $3.128.

Washington’s price bumped up more than in some locations, rising 4.2 cents this week to $2.752, from $2.710. That is 10th lowest among 22 Western Pennsylvania cities and towns monitored by AAA. Washington’s figure has dropped 22.0 cents over the past six weeks.

Altoona, for the 20th time in 21 weeks, has the cheapest gasoline in the region with an average of $2.552. New Castle ($2.656) had the second-lowest average, followed by Latrobe ($2.688). Uniontown’s figure jumped 10.3 cents, from $2.681 to $2.784, which ranked 14th.

Mercer ($2.898) has the most expensive gas, 1.3 cents higher than Warren ($2.885).

Pennsylvania, where the average rose a penny, was one of four states in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast region that posted increases this week. Delaware’s price jumped nine cents, while Tennessee and Maryland experienced hikes of three and two cents, respectively.

Regional gas inventory dropped 1.4 million barrels this week to 63.6 million – 3.1 million lower than this time last year. Stocks had been mostly building since July, according to the Energy Information Administration. Drone attacks on two large Saudi Arabian oil facilities last weekend may result in fluctuations at the pump, if crude oil prices continue to rise.

The national average remained at $2.56.

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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