The Prom and the Wall Street Journal

Today’s Wall Street Journal has an article discussing my Prom Price Index (article is here).  For those of you who are new readers, I have been creating an index that tracks the change in the price of going to the Prom since 2014.  The updated 2018 index is found on this blog under the “Data Files” heading or by clicking here.

What happened to prom prices in the last year?  Shockingly, they exceeded inflation.  Overall consumer prices rose last year by about 2%.  The Prom Price Index, however, went up by about 4%.

The main reason is women’s dresses soared in price.  In the last year dress prices tracked by the Consumer Price Index jumped almost 12%.  My guess is this is a one time aberration.  It might even be a data mistake since most of the jump happened between February and March of 2018.  Dresses are relatively easy to manufacture and price increases of 12% are just not sustainable with today’s global fashion supply chains.

Outside of dress prices the rest of the index again went up at a slower rate than overall inflation.  Eliminating dresses from the index would have resulted in the prom price index rising just 1% since 2017, which is about half the 2% rise in overall inflation.

For those of you going to the prom, enjoy!

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