Wholesale prices for domestically produced women’s and girls’ apparel fell 0.4 percent in February versus a year earlier, while prices on all goods dropped more than economists expected amid declines in the food and energy areas.

Registering its biggest dip since April 2003, the Labor Department’s Producer Price Index declined a seasonally adjusted 1.4 percent for all finished goods in February. The index had increased 0.3 percent in January and 0.6 percent in December.

“The acute pressures that we saw in terms of prices in the fourth quarter of 2005 have moderated,” said Brian Bethune, U.S. economist at Global Insight.

For complete coverage, see tomorrow’s WWD.

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