Send to

Clothing prices hit all-time high in a decade

Dec. 5, 2022 - 15:32 By Lee Yoon-seo

Apparel prices surged by the largest margin in more than a decade last month, government data showed Monday.

According to data from the Korean Statistical Information Service, in November, the consumer price index for clothing and shoes in the country put prices at 107.33 -- up 5.5 percent from the same month last year.

CPI gauges the measure of the average change in prices for a fixed-market basket, or a fixed list of goods and services of constant quantity, purchased by South Korean consumers from a base year.

For the data, prices from 2020 were used with a base of 100 points.

This year, a 5.5 percent rise in South Korean CPI for clothing had marked the highest increase in ten years and five months compared to June 2012, when the prices for apparel had risen by 5.6 percent.

Categorically, children's clothing saw a 9.6 percent increase, while women's clothing and casual fashion saw rises of 5.4 and 6 percent, respectively.

In addition to prices for apparel prices, costs for laundry and repairing of clothing rose by 10.6 percent, while prices for shoes also rose by 4 percent.

The increase in apparel prices follows disruptions in global supply chains and the consequent rise in costs related to releasing textile products.

"The new seasonal clothing products have been released with raised prices (by South Korean clothing industries)," said Statistics Korea Director General Eoh Un-sun during a briefing in November.

"It is to our understanding that the cost of raw materials, including cotton, have risen, and, consequently, costs for cut-make-trim process in China has also risen," he added, noting that such factors led to this year's record-breaking increase in prices for clothing.

The rise in costs for clothing aligns with Bank of Korea's expectation announced on Friday that the consumer price growth rate will likely stay in the 5 percent range until early next year.

According to Statistics Korea, the country's CPI had risen by 5 percent to 109.10 in November compared to last November, marking the largest margin of increase in 24 years since 1998. However, this year’s November figure was a 0.7 percent decrease compared to the previous month of October.