WASHINGTON – Retail apparel prices rose a seasonally adjusted 0.4 percent in December compared with November and advanced 1.9 percent compared with a year earlier, the Department of Labor said today in its Consumer Price Index.

Women’s apparel prices rose 0.6 percent month-to-month and increased 2.9 percent year-over-year. Men’s apparel prices declined 0.3 percent in December, but rose 0.5 percent in 12-month comparisons. The overall CPI was up 0.1 percent in December, and rose 2.7 percent compared with a year earlier. The so-called core prices, which excludes the food and fuel sectors, also rose 0.1 percent for the month and advanced 1.8 percent year-over-year.

Discounts in December weren’t as steep this year as in previous year’s, which helped drive prices up, said Jessica Penvose, an economist with the Labor Department.

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