Business: Kahn Do?

Price shock spurs doubts

For inflation-weary consumers, the news from the Labor Department last week hit like a blast of arctic air: the January Wholesale Price Index rose by 1.3%, or at an astonishing annual compounded rate of 16.8%. That was more than double the rate for all of 1978 and the biggest monthly jump in four years. The index, which usually foreshadows trends in retail prices, was lifted in part by the soaring cost of farm products, especially beef and veal, which rose 13% for the month. But finished goods like cars and...

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