Page 14-Friday, August 11, 1978-The Michigan Daily
WASHINGTON (AP) - Wholesale
food prices declined in July for the first
time in 10 months, giving consumers
the prospect of relief this fall from ever-
rising prices at grocery store counters,
the government reported yesterday.
While the Labor Department's index
of wholesale food prices decreased by
0.3 per cent last month, overall
I don't think this indi-
cates a declining trend of
food prices. It means the
rise in food prices will be
more moderate . . . this
one bit of good news for
July does not mean the
price problem is over at
-Lyle Gramley, a
wholesale prices rose by 0.5 per cent.
Nonetheless, the overall increase was
the smallest in five months, the depar-
GOVERNMENT officials said that
because of the declining wholesale food
prices, consumers can expect their food
bills to go up more slowly in the next
few months because farmers and
processors are charging less for their
"We would expect to see smaller in-
creases in retail food prices, probably
within a month or two," said John
Layng, assistant commissioner of labor
He said some of the improvement in
prices, particularly in beef and pork,
may start showing up immediately at
supermarkets. But officials also
cautioned that consumers should not
expect retail food prices to drop.
LAYNG SAID that while wholesale
food prices were declining, the cost of
other products went up 0.8 per cent, ac-
counting for the overall 0.5 per cent in-
"I don't think this indicates a
declining trend of food prices," said
Lyle Gramley, an economics adviser to
President Carter. "It means the rise in
food prices will be more moderate."
Gramley added, "This one bit of good
news for July does not mean the price
problem is over at all."
THE DEPARTMENT said the
decline in food prices was the first in 10
months and followed sharp increases
averaging 1.3 per cent per month in the
first half of 1978.
Meanwhile, prices were accelerating
for jewelry, furniture, home applian-
ces, passenger cars, tobacco and health
products, the report showed.
'down, for a change
Contributing most to the decline in go up 10.4 per cent in 1978. The ad-
wholesale food prices were sharp drops ministration is counting on slower in-
in costs of beef and pork. creases in food prices to hold inflation
to 7.2 per cent.
IRONICALLY, higher beef and pork Economists were encouraged by
prices alone had helped cause food lower food prices at the earliest stages
prices to go up nine per cent in the first of production - at the farm. Crude food
six months of the year. prices declined 2.5 per cent, the largest
Economists said the supply of beef drop since August 1977. The cost of food
may have increased, while the demand at the intermediate stage of processing
may have declined, causing prices to go went up 1.5 per cent, but most of that
down, was attributed to higher prices for
Prices also dropped for rice, animal feeds.
vegetable oil products, and coffee. The Labor Department measures
However, wholesale prices increased wholesale prices from a variety of
for fruit, vegetables, fish, bread, flour- goods nearly ready for the consumer,
based mixes and eggs. called finished goods. The Producer
THE DECLINE in food prices was Price Index for finished goods was
not as sharp as some private 195.9, meaning that products costing
economists had predicted. However, it $100 in the base period of 1967 cost
was encouraging to the Carter ad- $195.90 last month.
ministration which has been trying to The index was 8.1 per cent higher
persuade unions and businesses to hold than in July 1977. The 0.5 per cent
wages and prices down. overall wholesale price increase in July
If the inflation rate of the first six followed consecutive gains of 0.7 per
months continues all year, prices will cent in May and June.
By The Associated Press
The 7,500 ground employees of Pan American World
Airways went on strike for about 15 hours yesterday, at the
height of the international tourist season, delaying daytime
flights by up to three hours. Pan Am said the settlement
came in time to get evening flights off on schedule..
The Teamsters walkout came on a day when Pan Am had
235 overseas flights scheduled.
The airline announced the settlement yesterday afternon,
but said, "Terms of the agreement were not announced, pen-
ding ratifiction by the union membership."
All 900 maintenance employees, mechanics, laborers and
others walked out at Cape Canaveral, as members of the
Transport Workers Union (TWU) honored Teamster picket
lines. However, TWU president S.D. Hereford said the strike
was not expected to interfere with last night's scheduled
launch of a Trident missile.
"I SUPPOSE management could do it by itself," Hereford
While Pan Am planes continued to operate between this
Pan Am strike
country and most overseas capitals, flights to Mexico City
reportedly were canceled because ground crews there were
Ronnie Belpanno, a Teamsters trustee, said issues in
the strike were job security in connection with automation,
pension improvements and cost-of-living protection.
THE STRIKE WAS called by the airline division of the
Teamsters, composed of 7,500 employees who handle Pan
Am's reservations, sales, passenger services, cargo, medical
facilities and supplies.
"We're maintaining it's a job action and not a legitimate
strike," said Allan Graessle, financial controller for Pan Am
in San Francisco, where about six pickets were on duty.
Reflecting this view, recorded announcements at Pan Am
reservation desks advised callers: "Due to temporary job
action, you may experience some del'ay."
HOWEVER, WILLIAM GENOESE, a top Teamsters
negotiator in the Pan Am dispute, said, "There is a strike."
The Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) left it up to in-
dividual members whether to cross Teamsters picket lines.
NRC gives okay for
Seabrook nuke plant
CONCORD, N.H. (AP) - Construc-
tion of the controversial Seabrook
atomic power plant can resume im-
mediately, the Nuclear Regulatory
Commission (NRC) ruled yesterday.
The builder said it would begin
"gearing up" immediately. Opponents
said "civil disobedience" would
THE NRC ruled 4-0 in Washington
that Environmental Protection Agency
(EPA) approval last week of the plant's
cooling tunnels eliminated the con-
ditions which led to suspension of, the
"We will begin immediately the or-
derly process of reassembling the work
force and gearing up construction,"
said William Tallman, president of the
Public Service Co., prime builder of the
$2.3 billion plant.
"All issues relating to the project
have been thoroughly considered
during the six-and-a-half-year licensing
process," Tallman said. "Further at-
tempts to delay completion of the plant
are not in .the best interests of the
rim o MwUnmmnc.i "
position to the plant, said they were
"outraged" by the NRC decision and
were making plans to resume their
protests of the facility "almost im-
"Many different groups within the
Clamshell Alliance will demonstrate
their opposition to the ruling through a
series of non-violent civil disobedience
actions," said Judy Elliott, a Clamshell
"We have no plans, at this time, for
another demonstration at the plant, but
plans could rapidly change," Elliott
said, "We will definitely make. our
At 4'demonstration in June 1977, 1,414
people were arrested for trespassing on
the 715-acre site. This June, an
estimated 18,000 people attended a
three-day demonstration. There were
Construction was halted July 21 by
the NRC while the EPA studied the en-
vironmental effects of cooling the plant
with two two-and-a-half-mile long tun-
nels and while the NRC investigated
alteritte locations in New.England for
the nin nt in no AP vonlino -eMwa..,. -..