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US retail apparel prices fall continues in June

Retail apparel prices in the US decreased for the fourth consecutive month in June, dropping 0.3 per cent relative to the value posted in May. Year-over-year, retail apparel prices were 1.7 per cent lower in June. Seasonally-adjusted prices per square meter of imported cotton-dominant apparel edged slightly higher in June. Over the past 12 months, average sourcing costs have been generally stable. Despite low sourcing costs, import volumes have been declining.

Spending on apparel was 0.2 per cent higher month-over-month and 2.7 per cent higher year-over-year in June. This marked the fourth consecutive month of increased apparel spending, after two consecutive decreases were registered in the first two months of the year.

The US economy expanded at a 2.6 per cent annual rate between April and June. The acceleration in GDP growth in the second quarter was primarily a result of improved inventory investment, stronger consumer spending, and higher federal government spending.

Inventory investment was slightly lower in the second quarter than it was in the first quarter, decreasing from 2.7 per cent to 2.6 per cent. Nonetheless, consumer spending, which accounts for about 70 per cent of GDP, accelerated in the second quarter, improving from 1.9 per cent in the first quarter to 2.8 per cent in the second quarter.