July 2012 Municipal Cost Index dips slightly
Last month, the overall costs of goods and services purchased by local governments decreased slightly, according to American City & County’s Municipal Cost Index. The July 2012 Municipal Cost Index value of 225.6 is 0.3 percent lower than last month and only 1.2 percent higher than last year.
Fuel prices continued to decrease, showing the greatest price decreases in the last month among the items tracked by American City & County. Gasoline was down 8.9 percent, crude petroleum was down 7.6 percent, and natural gas continued to decrease by 4.3 percent. Natural gas is 51.5 percent lower than last year, which is the greatest annual decrease among items tracked by American City & County.
Minor price increases occurred for coal (2.9 percent) and milled rice (2.1 percent) over the last month. Since last year, iron ore has increased 22.8 percent, and plywood has increased 12.2 percent.
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 July 2012 and a complete archive since 1978 is available now at americancityandcounty.com/municipal-cost-index.