What a difference a month makes.
After inching up 0.8% in May, following two straight months of declines, U.S. consumer prices for apparel fell by 0.4% in June.
The Labor Department recently announced that its Consumer Price Index (CPI) increased 0.2% last month, and rose 1 percent year-over-year. Core CPI—that is, all items excluding food and energy—inched up 0.2% in June to more than offset a 0.1% decline in food prices, and increased 2.3% year-over-year—above the average annual rate of 1.9% over the past 10 years.
Apparel, however, took a tumble. Men’s prices were down 0.9% in June, thanks to declines in all categories, but boys’ clothing rose 0.6%. Prices in womenswear were up 1.2%, as outerwear, suits and separates and accessories all gained, which balanced the 0.3% decline in dresses. Girls’ apparel prices increased 0.2%. Infants’ and toddlers’ apparel prices had the worst month, falling 2.5%.
Similarly, menswear and boys’ apparel prices were down 0.6% for the 12 months ended in June, while womenswear and girls’ clothing was up 1.5%. Infants’ and toddlers’ apparel prices were down 5.3% year-over-year.