Inflation plummeted in May for all goods and services, helped by a significant slide in energy prices. Though apparel and footwear price indices remain well above the overall inflation rate, they are showing signs of softening as well, due largely to declines in raw materials costs and the slowing economic recovery.
Consumer prices rose 1.7% overall in May, below April’s 2.3% increase and a continuation of the steady drop since September 2011, when prices increased by 3.9% year-on-year.
The core inflation rate, which excludes food and energy, was up by 2.3%, confirmation of the easing of price pressure on nondiscretionary items.
The apparel and footwear price index rose 4.4%, less than April’s 5.1% increase.
Apparel prices (without footwear) increased 5% in May. Footwear prices increased by 2.2% in the month, down slightly from April.
Both men’s and women’s apparel prices softened in the month, but remain near three-year highs.
The only categories in which price indexes increased in May were girls’ and infants’ apparel.