In January, The Council for Community and Economic Research released its fourth quarter 2011 ACCRA Cost of Living Index report, which presents an unweighted average of data accumulated from the first three pricing periods of the year. Of the 314 participating urban areas, New York (Manhattan), N.Y., was the most expensive place to live, while Harlingen, Texas, was the least expensive. Wichita’s Cost of Living Index value was 92.2, 7.8 percent below the national average of the participating urban areas.
Of the 26 grocery items included in the Index, the national average price of coffee and potatoes increased the most from first to third quarter last year. Wichita’s coffee price increased 12.2 percent; however, the price of potatoes locally decreased 6.8 percent.