PRICES: Food Calms Down

No part of the inflationary wave that swept through the U.S. over the past three years hit consumers harder than spiraling prices at the supermarket. From 1972 to the end of last year, the cost of food jumped 42%, reflecting the price-boosting pressures of the big Soviet grain sales, drought, destructively heavy rains and lively speculation on commodity exchanges. Now the price wave seems to be subsiding. During the past six months, food prices rose by only 1.1%, and Agriculture Department economists forecast an increase of no more than 3% for the...

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