Western PA Gas Prices Rise; National Average Hits Six-Year High

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Gas prices in Western Pennsylvania are six cents higher this week at $3.159 per gallon, according to AAA East Central’s Gas Price Report.

This week’s average prices: Western Pennsylvania Average                  $3.159
Average price during the week of May 10, 2021                                        $3.095
Average price during the week of May 18, 2020                                        $2.265

The average price of unleaded self-serve gasoline in various areas:      

$3.103      Altoona
$3.152      Beaver
$3.137      Bradford
$3.202      Brookville
$3.176      Butler
$3.176      Clarion
$3.186      DuBois
$3.183      Erie
$3.115      Greensburg
$3.127      Indiana
$3.195      Jeannette
$3.103      Kittanning
$3.144      Latrobe
$3.191      Meadville
$3.184      Mercer
$3.133      New Castle
$3.167      New Kensington
$3.199      Oil City
$3.176      Pittsburgh

$3.174      Sharon
$3.160      Uniontown
$3.103      Warren
$3.162      Washington

Trend Analysis:
The national gas price average is the most expensive in six years at $3.04. Gas prices were expected to flirt with $3/gallon leading up to Memorial Day weekend, but last week’s shutdown of the Colonial Pipeline caused prices to spike weeks ahead of the holiday.

On the week, the national average jumped eight cents. States like Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina, where the gasoline supply was strained due to the pipeline shutdown, saw prices jump as much as 21 cents in matter of days. With the pipeline back in operation and supply being restored, gas prices in these states and the national average have stabilized since the end of last week.

AAA forecasts 34 million Americans to take a road trip 50 miles or more from home from May 27 to May 31 to celebrate the unofficial kickoff to summer. That is a 52% increase compared to last summer, but nearly 9% below pre-pandemic levels in 2019. Regardless, motorists will be met with the most expensive gas prices since 2014.

Crude oil prices and gasoline demand will be two large factors in determining how expensive gas prices will be. At the close of Friday’s formal trading session, West Texas Intermediate increased by $1.55 to settle at $65.37. Market optimism that crude demand will recover, despite an uptick in coronavirus infection rates in some countries, helped to lift prices last week. Prices could continue to climb this week if the market remains optimistic as vaccines continue to roll out.

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