For the second week in a row, gasoline got a little pricier across Western Pennsylvania – while remaining more affordable in Washington.

The average price of a gallon of unleaded self-serve is $2.910 this week, up 4.7 cents from $2.863 last week, AAA East Central reported Monday afternoon. The regional average likewise jumped 4.7 cents the previous week.

The current regional price is 46.4 cents higher than it was a year ago, at $2.446.

Washington’s average, on the contrary, dipped 1.5 cents from $2.768 to $2.753. That is the lowest figure among 22 Western Pennsylvania cities and towns monitored by AAA. The other 21 locales are at $2.83 or up.

This is the sixth week in a row Washington’s average is among the five cheapest regionally. Altoona ($2.831) and New Castle ($2.837) rank second and third.

Meadville ($2.989), for the fourth week in a row, has the most expensive fuel, 3.0 cents higher than Bradford ($2.959). Uniontown ($2.897) ranks 15th.

Pennsylvania’s average jumped three cents to $2.82 – the highest among states in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast region. Washington, D.C. ($2.73) and New York ($2.72) have the second- and third-highest averages in the region, while Virginia ($2.38) has the lowest.

Regional gasoline stocks grew by 1.5 million barrels, the largest increase nationwide, according to Energy Information Administration. That minimized price increases. Stocks are at 63.8 million gallons, a three-month high, which could drive pump prices lower – unless crude prices spike in the aftermath of the airstrikes in Baghdad on Friday.

The national average remained at $2.58.

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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