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Government figures show wealth gap between old and young

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We’re better off, but we don’t feel it, according to official government figures.

The Office for National Statistics today published its economic well-being figures for October to December 2017, which showed gross domestic product per head up by 0.8% and real household disposable income up by 1%.

The figures, which aim to show changes in economic well-being through a range of indicators including gross domestic product (GDP), disposable income, employment rates and net wealth show that in spite of improvements, consumer reported a worsening of their perception of their own financial situation for three consecutive quarters.

The report also showed a significant gap in net household property wealth between those aged 30 to 32 and 60 to 62 years, which has widened in the last 10 years. The net household property wealth of those aged 60 to 62 years was six times that of those aged 30 to 32 years during July 2006 to June 2016, however, this difference increased to 17 times by July 2014 to June 2016.

Kate Smith, head of pensions at Aegon, said: “Today’s figures from the last quarter of 2017 paint a mixed picture of the economic well-being of the nation, reflecting the turbulent UK economic and political landscape at the end of last year. While on the surface it is positive to see that GDP grew by 0.8%, it is concerning to see that for the first time in two years and for three consecutive quarters, consumers view of their own financial situation has worsened.

“The figures also show that there is a widening wealth gap between those with the lowest and highest net personal financial wealth, those in their early 30s and those in their early 60s…Overall, we are seeing a trend for consumers being more cautious when it comes to their finances. No doubt impacted by relatively high inflation and a weak pound. We’ve seen positive signs already this year that a shift is underway with a fall in inflation and expected interest rate hikes to come.”


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