Inflation Notes: Cold Duck

Squeezed by the fast-rising cost of living, U.S. consumers are turning to cheaper models, thrift-type goods and do-it-yourself repairs on their homes and autos. In a sluggish retail market, sales of retread tires, home-barbering kits and sewing machines have lately shown substantial increases. The trend has even affected holiday celebrations. Last week the fastest-moving item in many U.S. liquor outlets was Cold Duck,* a mixture of domestic sparkling burgundy and champagne that generally sells for from $2 to $3 a fifth compared with about $5 for domestic vintage champagne.

The nation's thirst for Cold Duck began to rise last August....

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