STATE OF BUSINESS: Inflation Again

Inflation is like the measles: people don't notice it until they see the spots break out—in the form of soaring prices. Last week, with many prices declining, few spots were visible. Yet the U.S. economy was feeling the first premonitory fevers of a new bout with inflation.

The cost-of-living edged up almost to its all-time peak of last January. The Bureau of Labor Statistics' index for May (189) was only one-tenth of 1% below the record. Its climb of .2% since April meant a 2¢ per hour automatic wage rise for 1,300,000 railroad workers, and may soon mean another raise...

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