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US womenswear prices rise

Womenswear prices in the US have risen for the third month in a row, prompting speculation that a longer-term inflationary trend is about to kick off.

Prices for women’s clothing climbed by 0.6% seasonally adjusted in January. The increase follows a rise of 0.5% in December, and a 0.6% increase in November, according to the Labor Department’s consumer price index.

Women’s outerwear prices rose 4.9% last month against December. The price of dresses rose for the third consecutive month, up 1.7% in January, while suits and separates also rose 0.5%, the third monthly increase in a row. Footwear prices rose 0.6%, with women’s footwear up 0.8%. Kids’ footwear also increased for the third month in a row, up 0.2%.

The womenswear price inflation was in stark contrast to menswear, where prices decreased for the sixth month in a row, down 0.2% in January compared with December. Clothing prices overall posted their fifth consecutive rise, up 0.4% in January.

The seasonally adjusted figures eliminate the effect of annual seasonal fluctuation. Some retail analysts said US inflation was a result of inflation in China, where costs are rising and stricter labour laws have been introduced.

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