Shoe Price Increases Slow in October as Inflation Cools Slightly

Inflation persisted in October, though continued to show some signs of moderation.

Consumer prices rose by 7.7% in October compared to last year, according to a Thursday report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This marks a slowdown from September’s 8.2% year over year growth. Compared to September 2022, prices in October were up 0.4%.

Excluding volatile food and energy costs, the Core CPI rose 0.3% from September and 6.3% from the same month in 2021.

Footwear prices also decelerated in October, and rose 2.7% over last year, the slowest year-over-year increase in 19 months, according to data from the Footwear Distributors and Retailers of America. Men’s footwear was up 2.3%, women’s was up 3.2% and children’s was up 2.6%.

While FDRA forecasts that inflation will continue to slow in the following months, the group confirmed its outlook that 2022 will show the largest full-year increase in retail footwear prices in close to forty years.

Despite headwinds in the macroeconomic environment, such as inflation and high interest rates, consumers still appear to be shelling out for purchases. The National Retail Federation’s chief economist Jack Kleinhenz said in his monthly economic review in October that while the economic environment in the U.S. is “unsettling” and consumer confidence is down, spending has persisted.

“Consumers have become cautious – but they have not stopped spending,” Kleinhenz said. He added that household purchases are are bolstered by wage growth and a strong labor market.

As the holiday season approaches, sales are predicted to grow over last year, though at a slower pace.

Total sales between Nov. 1 and Dec. 31 are expected to grow between 6% and 8% compared to 2021, according to a forecast from NRF. The growth would represent a total of between $942.6 billion and $960.4 billion in sales, on top of last year’s record-breaking 13.5% growth to $889.3 billion.

“While consumers are feeling the pressure of inflation and higher prices, and while there is continued stratification with consumer spending and behavior among households at different income levels, consumers remain resilient and continue to engage in commerce,” said NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay in a statement. “In the face of these challenges, many households will supplement spending with savings and credit to provide a cushion and result in a positive holiday season.”

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