By  on July 18, 2005

WASHINGTON — Wholesale prices on U.S.-produced women's apparel held steady in June, but were up 0.7 percent from a year ago, the Labor Department reported Friday in the Producer Price Index.

Prices on all U.S. goods and services were also flat last month. Stripping out volatile food and energy prices, prices fell 0.1 percent.

The report, in conjunction with the Consumer Price Index reported last week showing steady retail prices in June, indicated that inflation has been contained, said John Mothersole, senior economist at Global Insight. However, he said there might be some weakening in Gross Domestic Product in the second quarter.

Since the PPI measures the prices of domestically produced goods, it reflects only a small portion of the overall apparel bought by U.S. stores and is not necessarily indicative of overall pricing trends in the market.

Within the women's apparel category, prices for knit shirts and blouses were unchanged for the month and were up 3 percent from a year earlier. Swimwear prices slid 2 percent in June, but were up 11.3 percent from a year earlier.

Prices for all U.S.-made apparel slid 0.1 percent last month, but managed to inch up 0.2 percent from June 2004.

In the textile area, prices on synthetic fibers gained 0.4 percent last month and were up 6.3 percent from June 2004. Greige fabric prices decreased 0.2 percent in June.

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