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Menswear Helps Apparel Prices Stabilize in June

Helped by rising prices of menswear, apparel price deflation stabilized in June, according to Consumer Price Index (CPI) Data released today by the U.S. Department of Commerce. The apparel price index rose by .2%, after dropping .4% in April and .5% in May.

Apparel inflation is lagging that of all goods and services, The CPI for all goods and services rose by 1.8%, higher than May’s 1.4% jump. The core rate, which excludes food and energy, rose by 1.6%. Overall inflation was impacted by an increase in housing costs, gasoline and food consumed at home.

Combined apparel and footwear prices rose by a mere .8% compared to June 2012, more than last month’s .2% rise.

Footwear prices jumped 3% in June compared to a year ago, even with May’s increase, and tied for the lowest monthly increase in ten months. Footwear inflation remains well above that of clothing. Women’s footwear had the biggest increase, at up 4.3%.

Womenswear prices dropped by .9%, less than May’s 1.2% decline. However, continued oversupply of apparel and sluggish demand by the female consumer is putting downward pressure on pricing.

Prices for infants’ and children’s apparel fell by an average of 2.9%, with girl’s apparel prices sliding the most, at 4.1%. Consumers are exceedingly value-conscious with respect to clothing for children, who tend to outgrow their apparel in a short time.

Menswear prices rose by an average of 3.8%, helped by younger fashion-conscious men who are snapping up high-priced fashion brands in newer silhouettes.

Government CPI data takes into account published sale prices, but not coupons that discount entire transactions, or rebates on credit cards, which are becoming increasingly common and which essentially further decrease the ultimate price paid for an item.