By  on April 19, 2011

Could last month’s substantial hike in price inflation for dresses — 7.1 percent to be precise — be a sign of things to come? Retail prices for every other women’s category declined in March, according to the Labor Department’s Consumer Price Index.

But further increases may lie ahead, due to the skyrocketing cost of cotton and ever-climbing transportation costs, according to John Lonski, chief economist at Moody’s Capital Markets Group. “The jump in dress prices could perhaps be a signal of things to come. But as retailers and manufacturers try to spill over these higher costs, the question is whether consumers will resist the price hikes so much that manufacturers and retailers will have to retrench,” said Lonski, noting that year-to-year cotton prices are up 150 percent.

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