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The personal impact of inflation

16 January 2007
The Office for National Statistics is to launch a personal inflation calculator at to allow consumers to calculate how much rising inflation rates impact on them individually.

By keying in details of their personal spending patterns on individual goods and services pre-programmed into the device, consumers will be able to work out how their personal experience of inflation differs from the aggregate national average of 2.7 per cent.

Meanwhile, has also noted that individual experiences of inflation may diverge from national averages, warning that the average consumer thinks that inflation was at 7.4 per cent last year.

"The cost of living is rising faster than the government admits," claims David Kuo, Fool's head of personal finance.

Meanwhile, a survey of 36 economists conducted by Bloomberg News suggests that Bank of England governor Mervyn King was almost obliged to write a public letter of explanation to chancellor Gordon Brown as inflation in consumer prices hit 2.9 per cent in December, perilously close to the three per cent 'letter-writing' rate.

The new figures suggest the decision by the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee last week to raise interest rates by another quarter point was well-advised.

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