STATE OF BUSINESS: Inflation Merry-Go-Round

In Washington, the Fair Dealers' wonderful theory that the U.S. can enjoy inflation without paying for the ride had all but gone out the window last week. There was no longer much pretense, except for some cheerful whistling by Commerce Secretary Charlie Sawyer, that the big ($500 million-plus) steel wage boost would not have to be paid for by the customer. The OPS flooded with demands for higher ceilings by 1,800 manufacturers, got ready a "pass-through" letting them tack on their higher costs from the $5.20-a-ton price boost in steel, plus additional markups for higher copper and aluminum prices.

The merry-go-round...

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