Sunday, May 18, 2008

Clothing Deflation: One of Today's Best Bargains

Related to the post below on "The World's Cheapest Clothes," the chart above (click to enlarge) compares the "Consumer Price Index for All Items" to the "Consumer Price Index for Apparel," from 1992 to 2008 (with each index set to equal 100 in January of 1992, data are from the BLS). While consumer prices on average have risen by almost 55% in the last 16 years, the prices for clothing have FALLEN (deflated) by almost 10% over the same period. In fact, clothing for American consumers has never been cheaper, nor more affordable.


At 5/19/2008 4:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Would somebody please tell my wife that her clothing bill should be going down.

Something is wrong because it keeps going up and up.

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At 5/19/2008 6:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That cheapness does have a cost. Continuously replacing clothing that has minimal (if any) quality in manufacturing will have its own costs. That means that cheap clothing has its own expenses far beyond the higher quality alternative.

As for the graph, it says nothing about quality. One can always just flood the market with cheaply made clothing and count the inevitable repurchases as new.


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