THE ECONOMY: Restless Thermometer

The price of clothing went down a bit, but just about everything else, from food to laundry soap, went up. And so that restless thermometer of inflation, the Bureau of Labor Statistics' retail price index, crept higher again in April. It was the eighth monthly rise in a row, bringing the index to a record high of 119.3 (the 1947-49 average = 100). The new mark was .4 above the March figure and a notable 4.7 above early 1956, when the index, after three steady years, started edging upward. Forecast for May: higher yet.


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