IFS: Older and poorer face higher than average inflation

Older and poorer households are facing much higher average inflation rates than younger and richer ones, the Institute for Fiscal Studies warned today.

The economic policy analysts said households in the poorest 20% of the income distribution faced average inflation rates of 5.3% in January 2009, while those in the richest 20% faced an average rate of -1%.

While inflation was 0.9% for 18- to 29-year-olds and -0.9% for 30- to 39-year-olds, people over 80 faced an inflation rate of 7.1% and those aged 70 to 79 endured a rate of 5.6%.

The retail price index measure of inflation has plummeted from 5% last September to 0.1% in January and is predicted to fall below zero.

However, older and poorer households have faced much higher rates than this because they spend a greater proportion of their budgets on food and domestic fuel than other households.

In January 2009, food inflation was 9.9%, while household fuel inflation was 35.1%. By contrast, richer households have benefited from cuts in mortgage rates and motor fuel bills.

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