Following a tiny dip in August, the costs of goods and services purchased by local governments increased 0.3 percent last month, according to American City & County’s Municipal Cost Index. The September 2011 Municipal Cost Index value of 223.4 is 5.2 percent higher than last year.

Most items tracked by American City & County showed only slight price changes in the last month. Synthetic fibers showed the greatest increase, at 5.9 percent. Crude petroleum showed the greatest decrease, at 5.2 percent in the last month. Gasoline prices also decreased 2.8 percent last month.

Fuel prices still show the greatest price increases over last year among the items tracked by American City & County. Diesel fuel (No. 2) is up 49.9 percent, home heating oil and distillates are up 45.8 percent, and crude petroleum is up 36.7 percent over the last year. Electronic computer prices have decreased 11.6 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 September 2011 is available now at www.americancityandcounty.com/mciarchive. For a complete archive of the index since 1978, visit www.americancityandcounty.com/mciarchive.

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