By JON SPRINGER Supermarket operators had their top lines tickled — and their nerves tested — when inflation returned in 2011. With prices up an estimated 4% to 5% for the year, inflation was a friend to many retailers at least until fears of a more sluggish economy made some retailers balk at passing all their costs along and/or invest in lower prices. Particularly early in the year, retailers said they were doing their best to pass along their higher costs to ...

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