WASHINGTON — The sagging U.S. economy got some deflating news on Tuesday.
Prices for all U.S.-produced goods fell a seasonally adjusted 2.8 percent in October, the largest monthly decline since records started being kept in 1947, driven mostly by precipitous drops in energy costs, according to the Labor Department Producer Price Index. Prices dropped 0.4 percent in September and slid 0.9 percent in August. Prices in the core index, which excludes the more volatile food and energy sectors, rose 0.4 percent in October.
Wholesale prices for domestically manufactured women’s and girl’s apparel were flat in October from the previous month and declined 0.1 percent from a year earlier. Prices for all apparel were also flat last month compared with September and increased 0.9 percent versus October 2007.
The PPI is not a key indicator for apparel pricing, however, since the vast majority of the clothing sold in the U.S. is imported. The Consumer Price Index, which tracks retail prices of all goods, will be released today.
As the economy struggles, inflationary concerns have been replaced with fears of deflation, in which falling prices and demand can spiral out of control.
“Inflation is yesterday’s problem,” said Nigel Gault, chief U.S. economist at IHS Global Insight. “It is remarkable that in just a few months fears have switched from inflation to deflation, a testament to how suddenly the global economy’s expansion has turned into recession.”
Producer prices for women’s and girls’ dresses, suits and pantsuits, and jeans and slacks were flat in October compared with September. In year-over-year comparisons, producer prices of dresses increased 1.5 percent, suits and pantsuits dropped 1.9 percent, and jeans and slacks fell 1.1 percent.
Wholesale prices for woven shirts and blouses increased 0.1 percent in October from the previous month, and were up 3.8 percent in 12-month comparisons. Producer prices for women’s and girls’ tailored jackets and vests advanced 0.2 percent in month-to-month comparisons and were up 1 percent for the year. Knit shirts and blouses increased 0.1 percent in October, but declined 0.3 percent from the previous year.
Prices for apparel fabric, also called textile mill products, dropped 0.2 percent in October compared to September and rose 5.5 percent from the same period a year ago. Home furnishing textile prices, or textile product mills, increased 0.3 percent in October and 3.5 percent year-over-year.
Deeper in the product pipeline, prices are starting to come down. Synthetic fiber prices fell 4.1 percent in a month-to-month comparison, but were up 3.2 percent from October 2007. Yarn prices slid 0.2 percent in the month, but were up 8.3 percent for the year. Finished fabric prices dropped 0.4 percent in October and increased 5.4 percent year-to-year. Greige fabric costs were flat in October compared with September and rose 3 percent from October 2007.
Assouline is paying homage to the late Azzedine Alaïa with a reprint of "Alaïa Livre de Collection.” The book is comprised of photographs of the designer's summer 1992 runway show with models Christy Turlington Burns, Naomi Campbell and Tyra Banks, pictured here at right. #wwdfashion #alaia #tyrabanks
Fall 2018 accessories take on a painterly hue, with Nebulas Blue among Pantone’s top 10 colors of the season. (📸: @jonghyupstudio ; editor: @twallz21 ; stylist and set designer: @haideefindlaylevin ) #wwdaccessories
@americanapparelusa is relaunching the brand outside of the U.S. today, opening its online store to more than 200 countries. The company is also contemplating a return to brick-and-mortar, though details have not been confirmed. In tandem with the expanded distribution is a recasting of a social media ad campagn, called “Back to Basics,” pictured here, with a focus on diversity and a cast of models above the age of 21. Read more on WWD.com #wwdnews #wwdfashion
Exclusive: @britneyspears is continuing to expand her brand. The pop icon, who appears in @kenzo ’s latest campaign, is partnering with Epic Rights to launch a line of branded merchandise. Read @hernameislex ‘s story, link in bio. #wwdnews #britneyspears
The Duchess of Cambridge channeled Princess Diana’s look upon giving birth to Prince Harry, when she and the Duke of Cambridge departed the hospital with the new baby Prince this afternoon in London. #wwdeye #princeofcambridge
The new Prince of Cambridge has arrived! The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge posed with the 8-pound newborn. She wore a look from one of her go-to designers, @jennypackham. Tap link in bio for more. #wwdeye #princeofcambridge
Jewelry label @alisonlou has made a name for itself with fine jewelry that speaks to the Millennial market. Now @twallz21 reports that the label is bringing those playful ideas to a new affordable line of lucite hoops with the launch of Loucite by Alison Lou. Here’s a look from the line modeled by @emrata. #wwdaccessories
@sarahjessicaparker and @gilt are teaming up on a bridal ready-to-wear line. Tomorrow, Parker will launch SJP by Sarah Jessica Parker Bridal — and as part of the launch, Gilt will offer 15 exclusive styles from the SJP by Sarah Jessica Parker footwear collection that were designed to complement the new line. Made out of 10 styles, the line is designed for a variety of occasions, from bridal showers to receptions. Get more details on WWD.com #wwdfashion