Apparel and footwear prices rose in March, according to data just released by the U.S. Department of Commerce, finally resisting the downward pressure that had been plaguing the category during the prior two months.
Overall inflation increased by a more-than-expected 1.5% in March, much of it due to housing and food price increases. Energy prices were tamed a bit, resulting in a core inflation rate rise of 1.7%.
The index for apparel and footwear, swung from a 0.6% drop last month to a 0.5% increase in March.
Apparel prices (excluding footwear) gained 0.8%, compared to a 0.4% drop in February. Footwear prices dropped by 1%.
Women’s apparel prices jumped by 1.6% in the month, while menswear prices rose by only 0.2%.
The price index for infants’ and children’s apparel increased for the first time in fourteen months, up 0.7 percent. Girlswear prices edged up by 0.5 percent, an improvement over their 3% February drop. Boys’ apparel prices increased 2%.