June 05, 2001
Prices paid by consumers for apparel declined 1.8 percent in 2000—the largest annual decrease since 1952. In comparison, consumer prices for all commodities rose by 2.7 percent in 2000.
Demand for clothing was down throughout last year, especially at department stores. Moreover, for the past decade, this country has had an oversupply of clothiers and apparel merchandise.
Many stores offer identical clothing, so the price of apparel has remained stable over the past 10 years. For the 10-year period December 1990 to December 2000, the apparel price index increased only 2.0 percent. The index for all commodities rose 19.0 percent in that same period.
These data are produced by the BLS Consumer Price Index program. For additional information on consumer price changes in 2000, see "Consumer inflation higher in 2000," by Todd Wilson, Monthly Labor Review, April 2001. Annual percent changes are December-to-December changes.