Retail Prices Continue to Rise

Retail prices for footwear increased a seasonally adjusted 0.2 percent in March and rose 1.8 percent compared with a year earlier, the Labor Department said Wednesday in its Consumer Price Index.

Men’s footwear prices increased 0.8 percent from the previous month, and 1.8 percent from March 2008. Prices for women’s footwear increased 0.3 percent in March, but declined 0.3 percent from the same period a year ago. Boys’ and girls’ footwear increased 0.5 percent month-to-month and 3.7 percent year-over-year.

Apparel prices, which include footwear, declined a seasonally adjusted 0.2 percent in March, and rose 1.4 percent year-over-year.

Prices for all goods and services decreased a seasonally adjusted 0.1 percent in March as food and energy costs declined. In February, prices for all goods and services advanced 0.4 percent. Year-over-year, the index declined 0.4 percent in March, the first 12-month decline since August 1955. Core inflation, which excludes the volatile food and energy sectors, rose a higher-than-anticipated 0.2 percent. March was the third month in a row when core prices increased by that amount.