Bargain shopping throughout Utah

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    By Annie Vance

    Utah”s cost of living is stable, but Utah clothing prices remain significantly below the national statistics.

    Over the last few years, clothing prices in Utah have remained below the national cost of living.

    According to the Wells Fargo Bank Cost of Living Report for the Wasatch Front in the month of August, clothing costs decreased 4.5 percent.

    August was recorded as the second month in a row to have lower price tags on women”s apparel, men”s wear and children”s articles compared to the national average.

    Kelly Matthews, Wells Fargo Bank Northwest NA executive vice president and economist said clothing costs have decreased because of price restraints due to international trade.

    “Clothing is one of the only best buys left in Utah,” Matthews said.

    But with the most recent terrorist attacks of September 11, some speculate that the already low clothing prices may decrease even more.

    “Consumers are being extremely cautious,” Matthews said. “The general mood of consumers is not to spend right now.”

    As a result, Matthews believes prices will be slashed and there will be more promotions.

    Flo Hazelett, trainer in the women”s clothing department at Meier and Frank, said since the attacks, business has been slow.

    “Sales have been down a lot. When the attacks happened, I just wanted to be at home and so did everyone else,” she said.

    But some believe the attacks will not have any significant effect on Utah”s economy.

    Scott Bradford, assistant professor in the economics department at BYU, said the only thing that would cause a significant dent in the economy would be a pull back in consumer spending. But Bradford said he believes consumers will return to spending.

    “The productive power of the economy is still there,” Bradford said. “In general I think people are overreacting. The attacks are not going to have a huge impact on the economy in the long run.”

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