STATE OF BUSINESS: High Costs & Mixed Prophecies

After remaining fairly steady for six months, the cost of living rose to a new record in April. The consumer price index jumped to 126.2 of the 1947-49 average, reported the Bureau of Labor Statistics last week, almost 2% above a year ago. The rise resulted chiefly from a 1.5% increase in food prices, which account for about 30% of the index. "This does not mark the beginning of a strong upward trend," said Arnold Chase, chief of the bureau's price division, although he expects the index to rise gradually through the summer. The rise means automatic wage increases...

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