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WHOLESALE PRICES INCREASE .1% AS THE RECESSION DIMS INFLATION

Wholesale prices edged up 0.1 percent in August as energy prices dipped a second month in a row within a lackluster economy that is keeping inflation in check, the government said Friday.

Analysts say prices aren't rising much because people aren't buying much - behavior attributed to the anemic economic recovery.The Labor Department released its monthly Producer Price Index, showing energy prices dipped 0.1 percent and food prices rose 0.7 percent - the biggest increase in six months.

The wholesale index fell 0.2 percent to 123.5 for August - meaning a basket of goods costing $100 in 1982 now costs $123.50, before adjustments for seasonal variations.

The seasonally adjusted annual rate of wholesale inflation this year to date is 1.7 percent.

Meanwhile, world economic growth dipped in 1991 because of weakness in industrial nations like the United States, the fallout from communism's collapse, and the Persian Gulf War, the International Monetary Fund reported.

In its annual report released Thursday, the IMF report said world economic growth dipped 0.3 percent in 1991, following increases of 2.2 percent in 1990, 3.3 percent in 1989, and 4.3 percent in 1988.

"This decline reflected weaker growth in the industrial countries . . . the sharp contraction of output in Eastern Europe and the former U.S. S.R., and stagnation in the Middle East following the conflict," the IMF said.