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Domestic Apparel Producer Prices Fall in November

Producer prices of apparel fell in November, underperforming those of all finished goods for the first time in four months, and continuing a trend begun earlier this year.

The producer price index, or PPI, measures the average change in the selling prices received by domestic producers for their output. For all finished goods, it increased by .7% last month, bigger than October’s .3% rise, though well below the 2.5% increases of 1.5% to 2.5% seen this past summer.

Growth in the producer price index for apparel, however, dropped to a mere .4%, well below the more than 1% increases seen in recent months.

The plunge in apparel PPI was due primarily to a decline in menswear producer prices, which fell by 1.1%. Whereas menswear producer prices had been increasing faster than those of women’s apparel for almost two years, the softening of menswear prices that began in April has narrowed the gap in recent months, and now both categories are experiencing declines in domestic wholesale prices. Women’s producer prices increased by .5%, a huge drop from October’s 1.8% increase.