GOVERNMENT: New Yardstick

When General Motors pegged its wages to the Bureau of Labor Statistics' consumers' price index, it set a pattern for thousands of other union contracts. As the index rose, the unions got automatic pay increases. Last week it appeared that this pattern might soon change. In the hope of improving the index's accuracy, BLS announced a radical change in the way it is compiled. To reflect changed standards of living, BLS will add 75 new items (including candy, ice cream, baby foods, used cars). It will also check prices H twelve additional...

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