Inflation continued to edge higher in January, lifted by higher costs for housing, gasoline and medical services. Food prices may have remained flat, but apparel prices had their biggest monthly average increase in more than two and a half years.
According to Consumer Price Index (CPI) data released Wednesday by the U.S. Department of Commerce, prices for all goods and services rose by 2.5% (adjusted for seasonality) compared to the same month last year. That was the biggest jump in inflation in almost four years, with the core rate of inflation—which excludes food and energy price moves—rising 2.3%.
The index for apparel and footwear, reversing its recent downward trend, increased by 1 percent.
Apparel prices (excluding footwear) also rose 1 percent compared to January 2016. Footwear prices rose by 0.9%.
Womenswear prices increased by 2.1% in the month, while menswear rose by 1 percent.
Children’s apparel suffered a 2 percent price decline, driven by downward pressure on boys’ and infant’s apparel prices.