WASHINGTON — November wholesale prices for U.S.-made women's and girls' apparel remained steady in November, even as the prices on all domestic goods shot up a seasonally adjusted 3.2 percent because of higher gasoline prices, the largest jump in 34 years.
Energy prices increased 14.1 percent during the month compared with October, according to the Labor Department Producer Price Index released Thursday. The so-called core rate of inflation, which excludes the volatile food and energy sectors, advanced 0.4 percent, the biggest boost since February.
The government will offer a broader reading on inflation today with the Consumer Price Index report.
Since Americans rely on foreign-made goods more than ever, the jump in producer prices is not expected to translate directly or immediately to consumer prices. But the higher gasoline prices will affect both measures of inflation.
Price increases have forced the Federal Reserve Board, led by chairman Ben Bernanke, to walk a tightrope: controlling inflation while lowering interest rates to boost a slowing economy and avoid a recession. The Fed on Tuesday lowered its benchmark federal funds interest rate for the third time in as many months to 4.25 percent.
The dramatic jump in producer prices highlights inflation concerns, even if prices outside of food and energy are growing more slowly.
"It's definitely not good," said Aaron Smith, senior economist at Moody's Economy.com. "It's going to put more emphasis on inflation expectations now. I don't think inflation per se is a big risk right now and that's simply because the economy is just too weak. Businesses are not going to have pricing power."
Since more than 90 percent of the apparel sold in the U.S. is made abroad, price fluctuations among domestic producers affect a small segment of the overall market.
Compared with a year earlier, prices on women's and girls' apparel grew 0.9 percent in November, with increases of 8.1 percent in robes and dressing gowns, 1.8 percent in knit shirts, 0.8 percent in underwear and 0.5 percent in woven shirts.
Prices also rose in the textile arena, with year-over-year increases of 0.1 percent for synthetic fibers, 3.5 percent for yarns, 1.6 percent for greige fabrics and 0.7 percent for finished fabrics.
Taking the final spot on the mens’ portion of New York Fashion Week calendar next month will be none other than @tomford. Though he’s shown his men’s wear in New York in the past, this will mark the first time the designer has shown his men’s collection alone during New York Fashion Week: Men’s. His runway show will debut on February 6 at the Park Avenue Armory. #wwdfashion
London-based couture house @ralphandrusso has certainly been in the spotlight, having its dresses worn by @beyonce, Angelina Jolie, Meghan Markle in her engagement photos and more. For couture, Tamara Ralph focused on ornamentation — think: feathers with chain mail, jet embroidery and clusters of pearls and crystals. See the rest of the collection on WWD.com #wwdfashion #couture (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo)
Minnie Mouse celebrated her 90th birthday by getting her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. For her celebratory luncheon, @coach’s creative director @stuartvevers dressed her in a custom made prairie dress, complete with Vever’s take on the polka dot – black sequined versions – under a cropped motorcycle jacket. The designer also put his own mark on Minnie’s classic red shoes, infusing the color with sparkles and adding some Coach crystals. “We chose colors that were very Minnie and also represented quintessential Coach elements,” said Vevers. #wwdfashion #nationalpolkadotday (📷: George Chinsee)
@nickjonas is unveiling his first-ever apparel collection through a partnership with John Varvatos. The limited-edition capsule, which makes its debut in spring, also marks the first time the designer has collaborated with anyone on a line. “The process in working with Nick is amazing. It’s inspiring to be around someone who is not only connected with the trade that they do, but also with what’s happening in the environment around him, and how that connects to what we do with style,” said Varvatos. (RG: @johnvarvatos) #wwdfashion
@margotrobbie steps out onto the red carpet wearing @miumiu. The actress is nominated for “Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role” in “I, Tonya” at the #SagAwards. (📷: Stewart Cook) #wwdfashion
For @massimogiorgetti of @msgm, the Nineties are his favorite decade. “They had a huge impact on my personal growth. What I like of the Nineties is that they are not so precise in terms of style as other decades…there was actually a bit of everything,” he said. As seen on MSGM’s Spring 2018 show: tie-dye and a bit of grunge, two styles that are synonymous with the decade #wwdfashion #wwddecades (📷: @kukukuba)