Falling inflation, retail sales bolster Fed approach

The economic case for a Federal Reserve interest-rate increase in June just became a little less solid. Inflation took a surprising step back in March at the same time retail sales dropped for a second month, according to a pair of U.S. government reports on Friday. Labor Department data showed the consumer-price index fell a larger-than-forecast 0.3 percent, while a measure excluding food and energy fell by the most since 1982. While the pullback at retailers underscores a weak first quarter fo...

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