WASHINGTON — Seasonally adjusted wholesale prices for U.S.-made women's and girls' apparel held steady in December, compared with November, as prices on all domestically made goods fell 0.1 percent.
For all of 2007, however, women's and girls' apparel prices rose 0.9 percent as wholesale prices across the economy raced ahead 6.3 percent, according to the Labor Department's Producer Price Index, released Tuesday. The overall increase was driven by higher energy and food costs and was the largest such jump in 26 years. Excluding food and energy goods, wholesale prices were up 2 percent for the year.
Faced with the fallout in housing prices, the subprime mortgage crisis, the attendant credit crunch on Wall Street and signs of weakening job growth and tepid consumer spending, the Federal Reserve Board is still expected to emphasize the slowing economy rather than inflation when setting interest rate policy.
"Although upside risks to inflation remain, there is nothing in today's report to blunt the wave of enthusiasm for a full 50-basis-point reduction in the target federal funds rate," said Kenneth Beauchemin, U.S. economist for Global Insight, in an analysis.
Led by chairman Ben Bernanke, the Fed reduced its benchmark Fed funds interest rate three times and 100 basis points since September to 4.25 percent. Lowering rates further would make it cheaper for consumers and businesses to borrow money and could both stimulate economic growth and fuel higher prices.
Economists will get another reading on inflation, the type visible to the average shopper, when the Consumer Price Index is released today. That report will give a broader reading on apparel prices, since more than 90 percent of the apparel sold in the U.S. is made abroad.
Within the women's and girls' category, December wholesale prices on knit shirts and blouses rose 1.1 percent versus a year earlier, while dresses were up 0.9 percent and underwear increased 0.7 percent.
Among textile producers, synthetic fiber prices were flat last month, versus December 2006, as yarns were up 3.6 percent, greige fabrics rose 1.8 percent and finished fabrics were ahead 1.6 percent.
@kith is moving into children’s. The men’s and women’s streetwear brand has launched Kidset, a Kith kids line located in New York at 64 Bleecker Street. The line includes mini versions of staple Kith pieces like the Astor bomber jacket and the Kith box logo sweatshirts, along with a wall that can display up to 120 pairs of shoes from @adidas, @newbalance, @timberland and more. #wwdfashion
“I just wanted to create this fully rounded character, but I do think what excited me most was just the opportunity to give a group of people representation that I feel needs it. I like to do characters in projects that stand for something and Karolina definitely does, so that was really exciting to me,” @ginnygardner says of her new role in @hulu’s “The Runaways.” Gardner plays Karolina Dean, a queer superhero, which is a rarity for @marvel. Read more about Gardner’s character on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @dandoperalski)
@heriethpaul and @gracebol have a moment on the @victoriassecret fashion show 2017. See every look from the runway on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo) #wwdfashion #victoriassecret #VSFashionShow
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia