March retail sales show slack demand

So far, the inflation hawks -- who argue that the large fiscal and monetary stimulus deployed by the federal government will lead to raging inflation -- have a pretty weak case.

Producer prices fell 1.2 percent in March, with the core rate registering no increase, the U.S. Labor Department announced Tuesday; each was below the Bloomberg News consensus estimates of 0.1 percent and 0.2 percent, respectively. Producer prices increased 0.1 in February and 0.8 percent in January, after declining 1.9 percent in December 2008.