WASHINGTON -- Weakness on the food-price inflation front, though not a cause for celebration at supermarkets, could help check overall inflation and head off future interest rate increases. The Federal Reserve Board noted recently that ongoing declines in food prices should help slow inflation in 1997, barring any weather disasters. According to the Fed's annual economic outlook, prices of farm products have dropped back from the highs of last summer, meaning that this year's rise in food ...

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