By  on April 15, 2009

WASHINGTON — Apparel prices declineda seasonally adjusted 0.2 percent in March, and rose 1.4 percent year-over-year,the Labor Department said Wednesday in its Consumer Price Index.

Women’sapparel prices dropped 0.6 percent month-to-month, and increased 0.3 percentfrom March 2008. Men’s apparel prices advanced 0.5 percent in March, and rose2.7 percent in 12-month comparisons.

Prices for all goods and servicesdecreased a seasonally adjusted 0.1 percent in March as food and energy costsdeclined. In February, prices for all goods and services advanced 0.4 percent.

ear-over-year, the index declined 0.4 percent in March, the first 12-monthdecline since August 1955.

Core inflation, which excludes the volatile foodand energy sectors, rose a higher than anticipated 0.2 percent. March was thethird consecutive month in which core prices increased by that amount.

“TheCPI is in negative territory, but the economy is not in a deflationary spiral,”said Nigel Gault, chief U.S. economist, IHS Global Insight.

For complete coverage, seeThursday’s WWD.

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