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Apparel Price Declines Weigh on CPI

Consumer prices rose in July compared to a year ago, as increases in food, shelter and energy prices more than offset declines in apparel, automobile and other prices.

According to Consumer Price Index (CPI) data released last week by the U.S. Department of Commerce, prices for all goods and services rose by 1.7% (adjusted for seasonality) compared to the same month last year. Energy prices, which include gasoline, electricity and heating, rose significantly higher than a year ago. The core inflation rate, which excludes food and energy, also increased by 1.7%.

The apparel and footwear price index fell by 0.4%.

Apparel prices (excluding footwear) dropped by 0.8% compared to July 2017, their third straight month of declines. Footwear prices rose by about the same amount, up 0.9%.

Womenswear prices dipped by 0.6% in the month, while menswear prices fell by 2.3%.

Children’s apparel suffered a 2.5% price decline.