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Supermarket price war eases inflation for over 65s

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Price wars between Britain's supermarkets are easing the cost of living for the over 65s, according to research.

The study, which dug deeper into the real inflation rate facing different generations across the UK, found people over 65 experienced the lowest level of inflation – 0.3%. This is compared to 0.9% for Millennials (under 30s), and 0.4% for both Generation X (30-49 year olds) and Baby Boomers (50-64 year olds) in the 12 months to March 2016.

Fidelity International, who carried out the research, said the over 65s spend a much higher-than-average share of their income on groceries and non-alcoholic beverages than other generations, and so are “benefiting from the year-on-year deflation driven by the ongoing supermarket price war”.

This generation spends more than any other group on healthcare, which increases their inflationary impact to 0.7%, the report said. However, this is softened by spend on categories which experience lower inflation such as alcohol, tobacco, and electricity.

Older generations are also far less likely to suffer from the inflationary impact of rising rents and education costs, which are felt most by the under 30s who spend 19% of their income on rents.

Richard Parkin, head of retirement at Fidelity International, said “Supermarket price wars are keeping the cost of living down for the over 65s who ring up a bigger portion of their income at the tills. The over 65s are seeing their spending power reducing at a slower rate than other age groups.

“However, their expenses are not immune to price hikes. And in retirement, an increase in prices could have a significant impact on people’s standard of living. As people approach retirement, it is important to ensure you have a stream of inflation-proofed, guaranteed income to cover essential expenses; be it through an annuity, a DB scheme or your State Pension. This means that even if you need to cut back on luxuries in retirement, you always know you have enough for the necessities of life.”

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