Apparel and footwear prices rose slightly in April for the second straight month, resisting the downward pressure exerted on the categories earlier in the year. However, apparel price increases remain small relative to those in other major consumer purchase categories.
Overall inflation increased by a more-than-expected 2 percent in April, according to data released Thursday by the U.S. Department of Commerce, the biggest year-over-year jump in the index since July 2013. Housing, food and energy prices were the major culprits, with indexes rising from price jumps of meat and gasoline and higher rents. Between March and April, prices for all goods and services rose by 0.3% (unadjusted for seasonality).
The index for apparel and footwear increased from a 0.5% rise last month to a 0.6% increase in April.
Apparel prices (excluding footwear) experienced a 1 percent year-over-year increase, compared to a 0.9% gain in March. Footwear prices dropped by 1.2%.
Women’s apparel prices jumped by 1.8% in the month, while menswear prices fell by 2 percent.
The price index for infants and children’s increased for the second time in 14 months. Girlswear prices, which had been flat in March, surged by 6 percent in April, likely due to the increase in dressy clothing for Easter. Boys’ apparel prices increased similarly, up 5 percent.