Life costs 16% more than 10 years ago

01 November 2006
The average cost of living in the UK has increased by an average of around 16 per cent in the last decade, in the main because of higher house prices and more expensive essential items such as petrol and utilities.

According to the Consumer Price Index (CPI) from the Office of National Statistics, the increased cost of living is mainly due to just one or two major industries.

The cost of a loaf of bread has risen by over 50 per cent, on average, and petrol and cigarettes have both increased by more than 70 per cent. Retail and economic analysts have noted that these substantial increases in key areas of spending could be partly to blame for the rising consumer credit market and personal debt levels in the UK.

"We all seem to remember our money going a lot further in the past than it does these days and looking at these figures it's not surprising," said Mark Till, marketing director in Barclays' insurance arm.

"The biggest single increase has been in house prices but even everyday items have also got more expensive."

The average personal debt of each adult in the UK is now over £4,500, according to recent figures, and the total credit balance of UK residents rises by £1 million every four minutes.

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