June retail apparel prices jumped a seasonally adjusted 1.4 percent from May as higher costs for raw materials, labor and transportation filtered down to the consumer.
The upswing was reported Friday morning in the Labor Departments Consumer Price Index, which showed that men’s and boys’ apparel prices increased 2.3 percent as women’s and girls’ prices gained 1.4 percent.
In men’s, prices on pants and shorts rose 3.3 percent, while shirts and sweaters gained 2.3 percent. Women’s outerwear prices rose 2.3 percent and suits and separates gained 1.2 percent, though dress prices slipped 0.6 percent.
Apparel bucked the broader trend in June, when prices on all goods and services fell 0.2 percent as gasoline prices retreated. Economists predicted a lesser decline of 0.1 percent.
Many stores expect prices increases will overwhelm lower unit volume and lead to higher total revenues.
Compared with a year ago, apparel prices are up 1.8 percent, with a 2.2 percent in the women’s and girls’ category and a 1.6 percent rise in men’s and boys’.