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PRICES RISE IN OECD NATIONS

Consumer prices in the 24-nation Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development rose by an average 0.7 percent in March. The rate of increase in food prices dropped to 0.4 percent in March from 0.9 percent in February. Energy prices fell 0.2 percent, following February's 0.5 percent decline.

At an annual rate, consumer prices in the 12 months ending in March rose 4.8 percent in the United States, 2.3 percent in Japan, 2.8 percent in West Germany, 3.6 percent in France, 6.6 percent in Italy, 7.8 percent in Britain, and 5 percent in Canada.

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