Bucking an upward trend, gasoline prices remained steady across Western Pennsylvania this week.

The average price of a gallon of unleaded self-serve is $2.475, a 0.4-cent dip from $2.479 last week, AAA East Central reported. This week’s figure is 44.5 cents cheaper than it was a year ago, when fuel cost $2.920.

Pennsylvania’s average stayed at $2.43, which is among the 10 highest among states. The Keystone State is in the Mid-Atlantic/Northeast region, where prices in eight states did not change while others experienced a small rise. Virginia ($1.98) is the only state in the region below $2.00 per gallon.

The national figure increased a penny to $2.18, which is about 60 cents cheaper than it was last July Fourth – and the lowest average for the holiday since 2004. That stability in price occurred despite a million-barrel increase in U.S. stocks at a time that demand has dropped slightly.

Locally, the city of Washington’s average decreased 2.4 cents to $2.412 from $2.436. That is the second-lowest price among 23 Western Pennsylvania cities and towns monitored by AAA. The city’s average has fallen 35.7 cents since Jan. 1.

New Castle, for the 15th consecutive week, has the region’s cheapest petrol – $2.372.

Uniontown’s average ($2.486) did not change, but the city’s ranking fell from ninth-lowest in Western Pennsylvania to 14th.

Mercer ($2.515) has the most-expensive gas, slightly higher than Latrobe ($2.509) and Warren ($2.505).

Regional gasoline stocks decreased by 200,000 barrels to 75.2 million, according to Energy Information Administration.

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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