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Prices at the DLA Increase More than 10%


Prices paid by the Defense Logistics Agency have been increasing steadily for the past decade, but have spiked over the last year with higher inflation

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Prices Increasing with Inflation

High inflation has had a significant impact across the economy including at government contractors and federal agencies.  Since many government contracts and schedules have fixed prices over multiple years, inflation has had a more muted impact on prices than the broader economy thus far (though it has been a significant challenge for many contractors struggling with rising costs and an inability to increase prices charged to the government).

However, one area where price increases have had an immediate impact are on products acquired through the Defense Logistics Agency’s Internet Bid Board System (DIBBS), where the agency purchases millions of standardized products every year based on contractor bids. 

Using HigherGov's database of historical prices of products acquired through DIBBS, we analyzed the prices of 100,000 NATO Stock Numbers (NSNs).  As shown below, the average change in prices has been increasing gradually over the past decade and increased significantly along with inflation in 2021 and 2022. 

Average Change in NSN Prices by Year

HigherGov Analysis

In addition, the percentage of NSNs experiencing price increases annually has gradually grown over the past decade with a further spike in 2022. 

Percentage of NSNs with Increasing / Decreasing / Unchanged Prices

HigherGov Analysis

However, there was a substantial variation in which products saw the largest price increases.  The table below shows price increases in 2022 for select Federal Supply Groups / NATO Supply Groups.  Of course, individual NSNs saw even wider variation, and it was not uncommon to see prices increasing 200%-300% for some NSNs.

2022 Average Change in Price for Select NSG/FSGs

NSG/FSG Description % Increase
73 Food Preparation and Serving Equipment 20.7%
76 Books, Maps, and Other Publications 19.0%
80 Brushes, Paints, Sealers, and Adhesives 18.7%
81 Containers, Packaging, and Packing Supplies 18.0%
42 Fire Fighting, Rescue, and Safety Equipment; and Environmental Protection Equipment 16.5%
39 Materials Handling Equipment 15.8%
40 Rope, Cable, Chain, and Fittings 15.5%
12 Fire Control Equipment 15.2%
17 Aircraft Launching, Landing, and Ground Handling Equipment 14.2%
26 Tires and Tubes 14.0%
30 Mechanical Power Transmission Equipment 13.4%
84 Clothing, Individual Equipment, and Insignia 13.4%
10 Weapons 12.8%
25 Vehicular Equipment Components 12.8%
63 Alarm, Signal and Security Detection Systems 11.9%
44 Furnace, Steam Plant, and Drying Equipment; and Nuclear Reactors 11.9%
93 Nonmetallic Fabricated Materials 11.9%
20 Ship and Marine Equipment 11.7%
49 Maintenance and Repair Shop Equipment 11.6%
31 Bearings 11.1%
28 Engines, Turbines, and Components 11.0%
45 Plumbing, Heating, and Waste Disposal Equipment 10.8%
29 Engine Accessories 10.8%
62 Lighting Fixtures and Lamps 10.7%
61 Electric Wire, and Power and Distribution Equipment 10.3%
59 Electrical and Electronic Equipment Components 10.3%
48 Valves 10.2%
47 Pipe, Tubing, Hose, and Fittings 10.1%
41 Refrigeration, Air Conditioning, and Air Circulating Equipment 10.1%
34 Metalworking Machinery 10.0%
66 Instruments and Laboratory Equipment 9.5%
43 Pumps and Compressors 9.3%
14 Guided Missiles 9.3%
53 Hardware and Abrasives 8.9%
58 Communication, Detection, and Coherent Radiation Equipment 8.7%
70 Automatic Data Processing Equipment, Software, Supplies and Support Equipment 8.6%
16 Aircraft Components and Accessories 8.4%
51 Hand Tools 7.5%
15 Aircraft and Airframe Structural Components 6.5%
95 Metal Bars, Sheets, and Shapes 5.2%
65 Medical, Dental, and Veterinary Equipment and Supplies 4.7%
60 Fiber Optics Materials, Components, Assemblies, and Accessories 2.4%
83 Textiles, Leather, Furs, Apparel and Shoe Findings, Tents and Flags 1.8%

We anticipate that the rate of price increases will decrease over the following year as the pressures driving inflation subside and higher interest rates begin to moderate inflation.  HigherGov will continue to monitor prices and provide a mid-year update.   


Justin Siken
Founder of HigherGov

Notes on Methodology

Analysis includes 100,000 NSNs and over 1,000,000 price points. Excludes prices for any purchases made via an Automated Indefinite Delivery Contract (AIDC).  An average was calculated for all known prices for a given year and price changes were analyzed on a per-NSN basis for years where purchases were made in two consecutive years.  In calculating the average price change, the change in any individual NSNs was capped at 100%. 

Data Sources

HigherGov Analysis, DIBBS

About HigherGov

HigherGov provides comprehensive government contracting and grant market intelligence for contractors, grant recipients, and their advisors.