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Rising costs hit elderly hardest

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19/03/2008

Alliance Trust’s independent study of age-related inflation has found that the inflation rates facing all five of its identified age groups increased in February.

In each case the rate of inflation recorded is higher than the official headline rate of 2.5% released today. The figures released by Alliance Trust show that in February, inflation hit the over 75 year olds and the 65-74 year olds the hardest – these two groups now face inflation rates of 3.4% and 3.3% respectively.

In February, all age groups faced an inflation rate higher than the official rate of inflation. A combination of high food prices and rising utility bills and petrol prices all helped to push inflation higher.
 
The over 75-year olds face the highest rate of inflation. Alliance Trusts’s study calculates the rate of inflation facing households in this age group to be 3.4%, which is 36% higher than the official rate of 2.5%. Younger retired households, aged 65-74 years also face an inflation rate which is much higher than the officially recorded rate.

Food price inflation is now at 6%, electricity prices have risen by more than 5% over the last year and petrol prices have jumped by more than 20%.

Shona Dobbie, head of the Alliance Trust Research Centre, said: “We repeatedly identify big variations in the inflation rates applying across different age groups, reflecting the different spending patterns of each group. This month we have found that the over 75s are once again facing the highest rate of inflation at 3.4%.

“This is considerably higher than the official headline rate of 2.5%, and reflects the fact that elderly households are hit hardest by rising food, utility and fuel costs, as these items account for a relatively large share of their spending. We are concerned to see the inflation rate facing younger retired households jump higher – to 3.3%, again reflecting the fact that these households spend a relatively large proportion of their budgets on basic goods and services. Unfortunately it is these basic items which have seen the highest price increases in recent months.”
 

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