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Amazon Has at Least One Fed Official Rethinking Inflation

  • Chicago Fed president ponders technology-induced disinflation
  • Fed policy may need to be easier if competition curbs prices
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Why the Amazon-Whole Foods Deal Is a Game Changer

News that rocked the retail world last week is coming at just the wrong time for U.S. central bankers already puzzling over why inflation is conspicuously absent.

When online retail giant Inc. announced last Friday that it would purchase Whole Foods Market Inc., a plunge in retail and grocery stocks reinforced the disinflationary tone set by three straight months of disappointing data on consumer prices. It’s an example of the technological forces that are increasing competition and further limiting companies’ ability to pass on higher wage costs to customers.