ISSAQUAH, Wash. — Costco Wholesale here experienced inflated costs for fresh meat during its fiscal first quarter, but swallowed the increase rather than pass it on to shoppers. “There were some higher prices and higher costs we didn't pass on to the consumer because meat is such a competitive item,” Richard Galanti, chief financial officer, said in a conference call last week. Those increases, accompanied by dropping prices for electronic items, caused an overall margin decrease of 2 ...

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