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.
Harrods plans to remove the famous statue of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed from the bottom of the Egyptian escalators and hand it back to Mohamed Al-Fayed. “We are very proud to have played our role in celebrating the lives of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed at Harrods and to have welcomed people from around the world to visit the memorial for the past 20 years,” said Michael Ward, Harrods managing director. “With the announcement of the new official memorial statue to Diana, Princess of Wales at Kensington Palace, we feel that the time is right to return this memorial to Mr. Al Fayed and for the public to be invited to pay their respects at the palace.” More on the news, with reporting by @loreleimarfil, at WWD.com. #wwdnews
@prada is introducing a new project at its men’s fall 2018 show this Sunday: “Prada Invites.” The fashion house invited four celebrated creative minds – @ronanaerwanbouroullec, Konstantin Grcic, @herzogdemeuron and @rem.koolhaas – to each create a unique item with its iconic nylon material. The designs will be unveiled on the runway show, which will take place at the company’s warehouse in Viale Ortles 25. #wwdfashion #mfwm (📷: @martinocarrera)
@kering_official is spinning off its stake in puma in an effort to focus on its luxury brands, the brand operator announced yesterday. “We are proud to have supported the turnaround of Puma, which now has unrivaled capabilities to take full advantage of the specific dynamics of its global markets and is poised to achieve substantial growth,” said François-Henri Pinault, Kering’s chief executive officer and chairman. Artémis will become a “long-term strategic shareholder” of Puma with a 29 percent stake. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
The fashion world mourns for celebrated street style photographer, Nabile Quenum, who died at age 32 in Paris.
Quenum, creator of the fashion blog “J’ai Perdu Ma Veste,” was a fashion week fixture, and regularly shot for New York magazine’s The Cut, among other outlets, and brands such as Louis Vuitton, Moncler and Adidas. He was also actively involved in the #NoFreePhotos initiative, which kicked off in the fall. Read more about Quenum in @kbsmoke's story on WWD.com. #wwdnews
@verwanggang and @maisonladuree have teamed up on a dessert collab called Vera Wang Pour Ladurée. The collection, which launched this week, features a specialty macaroon, as well as a wedding cake inspired by one of the designer’s gowns. “I could not imagine a more delicate or sophisticated creation to grace any couple’s celebration,” said Wang. #wwdfashion