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Childrenswear Price Deflation Weighs on Apparel CPI

Inflation continued to tick up in April, and though U.S. consumer prices hit a three-year high, apparel prices are still on the decline.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics said Tuesday its consumer price index (CPI) rose 0.4% last month, the largest one-month expansion since February 2013, bringing the index for all items to 1.1% year over year before seasonal adjustment. Groceries and gas prices both went up, leading the uptick in prices, with the latter rising 8.1%—the biggest jump since 2012.

Apparel prices, however, fell for the second-straight month, dipping 0.6% after a January-February spell of increases coming off of what was a heavily-promotional end-of-holiday season where retailers worked desperately to clear unsold cold weather gear.

Childrenswear prices fared the worst, falling 2.7% in April.

Men’s and boys’ apparel saw declines, too, falling 1.6%, with women’s and girls’ apparel down 1 percent.

Footwear was the only apparel category where prices went up, jumping 0.7% in the month.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics