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US women’s apparel prices fall in October

Women’s apparel prices in the US fell 1.7 per cent in October after rising 1.6 per cent in September. Pushing the decline was the women’s outerwear category, where prices declined 6.4 per cent. But all women’s apparel categories saw price decline in October, potentially owing to the sector’s more competitive nature and buying habits.

Prices of dresses were down 4.3 per cent, suits and separates prices fell 0.5 per cent and the underwear, nightwear, sportswear and accessories group dipped 0.1 per cent. Girls’ apparel prices were up 1.1 per cent month over month. Men’s wear pricing power proved much stronger, with prices rising 1.5 per cent. The suits, sport coats and outerwear group posted a price gain of 3.9 per cent, as prices for pants and shorts rose 2.3 per cent. Smaller increases of 0.9 per cent for furnishings and 0.6 per cent for shirts and sweaters rounded out the men’s story for the month.

Boys’ apparel prices were up 0.9 per cent, while infants’ and toddlers’ apparel prices rose 0.8 per cent. The critical fourth-quarter holiday selling has kicked in and promotions have begun. A tariff war with China is on but retailers in the US are continuing to import merchandise in order to meet consumer demand.