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Children’s, Women’s Prices Buoy Apparel CPI in October

Apparel prices continued to recover in October from year-ago deflationary levels, according to the most recent consumer price index (CPI) data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Overall unadjusted inflation in the U.S. increased year-over-year by 1.7% in the month, relatively unchanged from the prior month, as lower energy prices almost made up for persistently high food prices.

The index for apparel and footwear rose by 0.7% in October, slightly above September’s level.


Most of the increase was due to a continuing rise in footwear prices, however. Apparel prices (excluding footwear) edged up by just 0.2% in the month, after lower rates in August and September. Footwear prices rose by 2.7%, their biggest increase in the past 16 months.


The apparel price increase was driven by a 2.5% increase in infants’ and children’s prices, their seventh straight monthly rise and biggest gain in six months. Women’s apparel prices rose by 1.5% in the month, twice September’s rate of increase. Men’s prices plunged by 2 percent in the month, their biggest drop in six months. This trend will probably continue, since the men’s apparel market has become extremely promotional, an example being today’s Joseph A. Banks 70 percent-off-almost-everything-in-the-store sale.