THE ECONOMY: Hit the Ceiling

Tucked away in the second-floor recesses of the great, grey Department of Labor in Washington sits a little-known but influential man: Ewan Clague, commissioner of the Bureau of Labor Statistics. It is he, knee-deep in charts and statistics, who figures out how high the cost of living has gone. Last week he reported that his sensitive consumer price index (based on 200-odd household commodities) had advanced sharply (.6%) since Sept. 15 to an alltime high ceiling of 174.8%. (The base figure of 100% is based on living costs in 1939.) It would be considerably higher, he added, if his figures...

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