The U.S. Labor Department’s latest Consumer Price Index (CPI), released Tuesday, inched up 0.3% last month, driven by increases in the cost of gasoline and rent. Core CPI, which is based on all items excluding food and fuel, slowed from August’s 0.3% growth to increase 0.1% and was up 2.2% for the 12 months ended Sept. 30.
Apparel prices dropped 0.7% in September, pushing the year-over-year change to a decline of 0.1%. The last time apparel prices decreased was in June, by 0.4%, though they stayed the same in July and picked up 0.2% in August.
By category, men’s apparel prices plunged 1.3% in September, due to pants, shorts, shirts and sweaters. On a year-over-year basis, they’re down 1.5%. Prices for women’s clothing decreased 0.2% last month—with declines in all categories except intimates, sleep and sportswear—and they’re down 0.4% versus last year.
By comparison, boys’ apparel rose 1.2% in September (and by 4.4% year-over-year), while girlswear increased 1.1% on a monthly basis and the category is up 2 percent compared with the same time a year ago. Prices for infants’ and toddlers’ apparel, however, declined 1.2% last month. On a year-over-year basis, prices are down 6.7%.