Last month, the Producer Price Index dropped, but the overall costs of goods and services purchased by local governments increased 0.1 percent, according to American City & County's Municipal Cost Index. The October 2011 Municipal Cost Index value of 223.6 is 5.1 percent higher than last year.
Most items tracked by American City & County showed only slight price changes in the last month. Coal showed the greatest increase, at 2.3 percent. Crude petroleum showed the greatest decrease, at 11.3 percent in the last month. Diesel fuel (No. 2) also decreased 5.9 percent last month.
Fuel prices still show the greatest price increases over last year among the items tracked by American City & County. Home heating oil and distillates are up 37 percent, diesel fuel (No. 2) is up 32.9 percent, and gasoline is up 32.8 percent over the last year. Meanwhile, natural gas prices have decreased 4.9 percent since last year. Electronic computer prices have decreased 13.3 percent since last year, which is the greatest decrease of all items tracked by American City & County.
The Municipal Cost Index, developed exclusively by American City & County, is designed to show the effects of inflation on the cost of providing municipal services. State and local government officials rely on American City & County's Municipal Cost Index to stay on top of price trends, help control price increases for commodities, make informed government contract decisions and intelligent budget planning. Since 1978, readers have loyally referred to the Municipal Cost Index to determine the cost of inflation and, hence, the rising cost of doing business as a local government.
American City & County’s Municipal Cost Index for October 2011 is available now at www.americancityandcounty.com/mciarchive. For a complete archive of the index since 1978, visit www.americancityandcounty.com/mciarchive.