WASHINGTON — U.S.-made apparel prices rose 0.3 percent in November compared with October, the Labor Department’s Producer Price Index showed Thursday.
On a year-over year basis, domestic apparel prices increased 1.3 percent. U.S.-made women’s and girls’ apparel prices fell 0.1 percent in November but were 0.2 percent higher than a year earlier. Men’s and boys’ apparel prices rose 1.3 percent last month and were 5 percent higher than in November 2011.
The PPI is not considered a key indicator of prices for apparel, since imports comprise a vast majority of all goods sold at retail. The Consumer Price Index, which measures all goods sold at retail and is considered the key barometer for prices, will be released Friday.
Within the women’s and girls’ category, only one category — woven shirt and blouses — fell 0.2 percent last month. In the men’s and boys’ category, prices on knit dress and sport shirts soared by 10.6 percent last month and were 20.9 percent higher than in November 2011.
Jeet Dutta, senior economist at Moody’s Analytics, said the increase in wholesale apparel prices for the month reflects fairly subdued inflation, as does the year-over-year increase of 1.3 percent in U.S.-made apparel prices.
In the overall economy, wholesale prices on finished goods fell 0.8 percent in November, driven down by falling energy prices. Core prices, excluding volatile food and energy prices inched up 0.1 percent in November.
“Headline PPI fluctuations are being driven by the ups and downs in food and energy prices, but the underlying picture for inflation is very quiet,” said Nigel Gault, chief U.S. economist at IHS Global Insight.