Prices at the pump bumped up slightly in Western Pennsylvania this week.

A gallon of unleaded self-serve rose by an average of 0.07 cents this week, from $2.809 to $2.816, AAA East Central reported Monday afternoon.

The regional average has declined 6.8 cents over the past four weeks, and is 26.1 cents cheaper than it was a year ago, at $3.077.

Washington’s average, by comparison, plummeted this week from $2.736 to $2.705 – a 3.1-cent dropoff. That ties Latrobe for the third-lowest price among 22 Western Pennsylvania cities and towns monitored by AAA. Washington’s figure has dropped 26.7 cents over the past 10 weeks.

Altoona, for the 25th time in 26 weeks, has the region’s cheapest gasoline – $2.599. Sharon ($2.684) is the only other town below $2.70. Uniontown ranks 17th at $2.871.

Warren ($2.959) has the most expensive fuel, slightly higher than Bradford ($2.957).

Prices fluctuated in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast region, but very little. Fuel in nine states increased or decreased by one or two cents. The region had the second-highest level of gasoline stocks, at 62.9 million barrels, according to the Energy Information Administration. EIA said stocks fell 544,000 barrels during the week and refinery utilization dipped by only 1%, to 59%, small changes that limited the price volatility.

The national average rose a penny to $2.64, 21 cents cheaper than a year ago. Refinery utilization nationwide dropped to 83%, its lowest rate since September 2017. Tighter supplies resulted in higher price averages in 22 states, nine of which increased by a nickel or more.

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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