THE ECONOMY: Prices Pared

Some retail prices edged upward in December, among them used cars, fuel oil, fresh vegetables and beef, but the ups were more than balanced by the downs—new cars, gasoline, fresh fruits, pork, eggs, movie admissions, women's clothing. Net result, as reported last week by the Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics: after creeping up to the alltime peak last November, consumer prices slipped downward a little in December to pare the BLS consumer price index two-tenths of a point, to 123.7 (the 1947-49 average: 100). Price forecast for 1959, as most economists see it: renewed upcreep.

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