The average price of gasoline across western Pennsylvania is a penny cheaper this week at $2.747 per gallon, according to AAA East Central’s Gas Price Report.

Compared to a year ago, pump prices in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast states are 22 to 55 cents cheaper (Pennsylvania, -36 cents). The yearly gas price gap is likely only to widen more, with every state in the region seeing gas prices decrease or remain stable on the week.

Prices should remain mostly stable or cheaper for the coming week as the latest Energy Information Administration (EIA) data show that regional inventory has increased. Additionally, regional refinery utilization also bumped up. Stocks have been consistently building for the past five weeks, up from 59.1 million barrels to 65 million.

This week’s prices across western Pennsylvania averaged $2.747 compared with the average price during the week of Sept. 3, 2019 being $2.750, and the average price during the week of Sept. 10, 2018 being $3.119.

The average price of unleaded self-serve gasoline in communities in the area was: $2.566 in Altoona; $2.665 in Beaver; $2.891 in Bradford; $2.769 in Brookville; $2.729 in Butler; $2.710 in Clarion; $2.674 in DuBois; $2.816 in Erie; $2.687 in Greensburg; $2.799 in Indiana; $2.768 in Jeannette; $2.723 in Kittanning; $2.652 in Latrobe; $2.782 in Meadville; $2.905 in Mercer; $2.661 in New Castle; $2.766 in New Kensington; $2.805 in Pittsburgh; $2.770 in Sharon; $2.681 in Uniontown; $2.899 in Warren; and $2.710 in Washington.

Nationally, slowly but surely, gas prices continue to trend cheaper with half of all states seeing pump prices drop two cents on the week. This caused the national average to push cheaper by a penny down to $2.56. Today’s average is 11 cents less than a month ago and 28 cents cheaper than a year ago.

In its latest weekly report, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) notes that U.S. gasoline demand saw a steady decline from 9.9 million barrels per day to 9.4 million barrels per day. Gasoline demand in early September generally declines alongside inventory levels as refineries prepare for the switchover to winter-blend gasoline and undergo maintenance.

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, West Texas Intermediate increased by 22 cents to settle at $56.52. Domestic crude prices rose last week after the EIA reported that total domestic crude inventories fell by 4.8 million barrels. At 423 million barrels, stocks are approximately 21.5 million higher than were they were at the end of August 2018. Higher inventory levels have helped to keep oil cheaper this year over last, but if EIA’s report this week shows that stocks continue to shrink, prices could end the week higher again. Alternatively, if ongoing trade tensions between the U.S. and China escalate, crude prices could fall.

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Motorists can find current gas prices nationwide, statewide, and countywide at GasPrices.AAA.com.

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