WASHINGTON — Women’s retail apparel prices crept up last month, but in yearly comparisons they rose at a slower rate than overall consumer prices.
Retail prices for women’s apparel increased a seasonally adjusted 1.9 percent in August, but compared with a year earlier, prices were up a slimmer 0.9 percent, the Labor Department said Tuesday in its Consumer Price Index. The August increase follows a 2.1 percent advance in prices in July.
Kenneth Beauchemin, U.S. economist at Global Insight, said year-to-year comparisons give a better read on a product’s pricing than monthly numbers.
“If you look at the year-over-year change, which is the better thing to do, apparel prices have risen a lot slower than the Consumer Price Index as a whole, which is another way of saying apparel prices are becoming relatively cheaper over the last year,” Beauchemin said.
Prices primarily have been held down by productivity gains the industry has achieved to help offset rising input prices in areas such as synthetic fabrics made from oil-based substances, he said.
The so-called core prices, which exclude the volatile food and fuel sectors, increased 0.2 percent in August and 2.5 percent compared with a year ago.
The relatively small increase in core prices suggested that “short-lived inflation concerns may be ending and are certainly far less important than concerns for jobs and economic growth,” said Charles McMillion, president and chief economist, MBG Information Services.
Apparel prices as a whole increased 0.5 percent last month and 1.7 percent year-to-year. Girls’ apparel prices advanced 2.8 percent in August and climbed 1.8 percent over last year.
Apparel prices last month were in line with usual trends, said Malinda Harrell, an economist at the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The increases were created primarily by excessive early discounting in August last year.
“This year is more on par. That’s why it’s showing price increases,” she said.
Within the women’s category, suits and separates increased 3 percent from the prior month and 1.4 percent from August 2007. Women’s outerwear prices were 2.9 percent higher in August and 1.6 percent more than a year earlier. Women’s dress prices slid 0.1 percent for the month, but increased 1.3 percent for the year. Accessories and intimates fell 0.3 percent for the month and 0.6 percent compared with the previous year.
My character, Dinah Madani, is just the coolest, [most] badass woman imaginable," says @amberroserevah. The actress stars in @marvel's newest series on @netflix, @thepunisher. To prepare for her role, Revah sat down with Homeland agents to get a real sense of with Dinah's day-to-day life is really like. Read our full interview on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
A scene from the 91st annual @macys Thanksgiving Day Parade. The parade, which boasts 50 million TV viewers and 3.5 million on-site spectators, is considered one of the largest and most watched parades in the world. (📷: Jason Szenes/EPA-REX)
The circus came to @bloomingdales 59th Street on Tuesday night and lit up Lexington Avenue with acrobatic dancers, death-defying knife throwing, sword swallowing and aerial acts with no net. The 45 minutes of theatrics built up to unveiling the holiday windows depicting @swarovski crystal-encrusted circus pieces and scenes from “The Greatest Showman” – songs from the soundtrack included. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: Joshua Scott)
The psychedelic fashion that pervaded the ’60s is back with an exhibit at the @museumofcityny. “Mode New York: Fashion Takes a Trip” chronicles the changing styles from 1960 through 1973 and features designers such as @ysl, @oscardelarenta and more. The exhibition, which is on display through April 1, is organized into four periods: First Lady Fasion, Youthquake, New Bohemia and New Nonchalance. Pictured here is model Pat Bardonella during the Garvey Day Parade in 1968. (📷: @kwamebphoto) #wwdeye #wwdfashion
“People should be a lot more honest in expressing both the dark and light of themselves. We need to give each other the space to do that because it’s the only way we can grow and evolve,” says @noelwells of her new film “Mr. Roosevelt,” which is largely based on her own struggles. Unexpectedly leaving @nbcsnl in 2014 after just one season, Wells felt set back in her self-esteem and career trajectory. She quickly refocused her energy to more personal projects, which led to the completion of “Mr. Roosevelt.” Read the rest of WWD’s interview with the “Master of None” actress on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
@barbrastreisand is giving fans a chance to see her perform up close in a new concert series, which makes its debut on @Netflix today. From behind-the-scenes takes to her concert performance in Miami last December, the two-hour streaming special captures Streisand in her element. Pictured here is the singer/actress photographed for WWD in 1963. (📷: Palmieri Tony) #wwdeye #wwdarchive
@chanel and @pharrell dropped what’s being dubbed as the world’s most exclusive sneakers yesterday. The Adidas Originals NMD Hu, which Williams designed in collaboration with Chanel and @adidasoriginals, has a waiting list of over 120K people who pre-registered online at chanelatcolette.fr –– and only 500 pairs are on sale. The singer predicted the resale value of the shoes could reach $40K. Read the full interview on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdfashion (📷: Dominique Maître)
@imanshumpert is diving deeper into his creative endeavors and relaunching his clothing line, Post 90s, and is helping to raise money for the hurricane victims in St. Maarten with a jersey he’s designed with his brother. The Cleveland Cavaliers player talked to WWD about kneeling during the national anthem, working with fashion brands and how he wants to be more than an @nba player. Read the interview on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: George Chinese)