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Retail Sales Drop; Inflation In Check At Wholesale Level

There was a 0.2 percent drop in retail sales in May from April, the Census Bureau just reported. Driving the decline: A 2.9 percent drop in motor vehicle sales. Car sales were hurt by a disruption in supply among Japanese manufacturers following that country's devastating earthquake and tsunami in March.

According to The Associated Press, the overall decrease is "the first decline after 10 straight increases."

Meanwhile, a sharp decline in food costs in May helped slow inflation at the wholesale level, the Bureau of Labor Statistics just reported.

It says wholesale prices rose 0.2 percent, vs. the 0.8 percent gain in April and a 0.7 percent increase in March.

Food costs at the wholesale level fell 1.4 percent last month, while energy costs jumped 1.5 percent.

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Mark Memmott is NPR's supervising senior editor for Standards & Practices. In that role, he's a resource for NPR's journalists – helping them raise the right questions as they do their work and uphold the organization's standards.