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Nation/World

Consumer Prices Edge Up 0.1 Percent

Wed., July 17, 1996, midnight

Consumer prices edged slightly higher last month in the best inflation performance since November, but economists still think the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates at its next meeting to slow the economy.

The Labor Department reported that the tiny 0.1 percent rise in its Consumer Price Index, reflected strong crosscurrents. The biggest jump in food prices in three years was offset by the largest decline in energy costs in more than five years.

The 0.1 percent increase in the CPI in June followed worrisome increases of 0.4 percent in March and April and a 0.3 percent May advance.

The Fed reported Tuesday that output at the nation’s factories, mines and utilities rose 0.5 percent in June after a similar 0.5 percent production gain in May and an even stronger 0.7 percent rise in April.



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