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Womenswear Drives Apparel Prices Down in February

Apparel prices suffered their fourth straight month of year-over-year declines in February, dropping by 0.8%, according to data released last Tuesday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Although the drop in the combined apparel and footwear price index was the smallest in three months, prices for apparel alone dropped by a steeper 1.6%. The footwear price index increased by 2.2% in the month.

The  steepest drop in apparel prices occurred in the women’s segment, where the index fell by 3.2%. Men’s apparel prices were virtually flat in the month, while those for childrenswear dropped by 0.7%.

Overall unadjusted inflation in the U.S. was flat in the month compared to February 2014, but edged up by 1 percent compared to January. Excluding food, for which prices increased, and energy, which plunged due to another drop in crude oil prices, inflation rose by 1.7% on goods and services.