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Apparel and Footwear Prices Up in July for Third Consecutive Month

The Apparel Consumer Price Index (CPI) for July was up 0.6%, the third consecutive monthly increase, according to data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI —U) was up 0.2% over last year, the increase seasonally adjusted.

There were both increases and declines in categories of the apparel and footwear sectors, reflecting seasonal buying patterns and the continuing financial pressure on people unemployed or underemployed.

Value-hunting consumers in pursuit of bargains and discount pricing also significantly impacted apparel and footwear prices.

Here’s the data covering the CPI from June to July, 2013:

Men’s and Boys’ Apparel: Down 1.2%

Men’s Apparel: Down 1.5%

Men’s Footwear: Up 0.5%

Boys’ Footwear: Down 0.3%

Women’s and Girls’ Apparel: Up 2.1%

Girls’ Apparel: Up 3.9%

Boys’ and Girls’ Footwear: Up 0.1%

Women’s Footwear: Down 0.7%

Among the pricing disparities seen in July was the spread between men’s footwear, up 0.5 percent, and boy’s footwear, down 0.3 percent.  Increased demand for bargains as the back-to-school season began may have driven down the price of boys’ footwear.

Data for girls’ footwear was not cited in the latest CPI report, but was combined with the boys’ and girls’ data.

Some observers expect overall inflation, influencing apparel prices and the prices of all goods and services, to slowly increase in the near and mid-term, as the Fed begins to increase rates, as forecast, and gears down its buying of US Treasury notes and bills.