THE ECONOMY: Playing with Inflation

The cost of living, as of mid-July, was up a barely perceptible .2% over the previous month. But this creeping change, announced last week, had a supercharged effect.

Millions of workers promptly took their place in line for wage boosts. Under their escalator contracts, 1,000,000 auto workers are due for an immediate 1¢-an-hour rise. Some 2,000,000 other industrial workers under other escalator contracts may get increases within a few weeks. And under the Wage Stabilization Board's new policy of tying all wages to the cost of living, some 60 million other U.S. workers...

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