Rise In Inflation Pressures For All Brits

by : Tom Dawson

Consumers of all ages are facing a rise in financial difficulties, new figures indicate.

According to data published by the Alliance Trust, the official rate of inflation increased higher than expected to stand at 2.1 per cent over the course of October. However, the firm reports that in actuality Britons from all age groups are suffering inflation higher than headline figures. The first time this has happened since June 2007, such a rise in living costs could well see the majority of Britons struggle to meet demands for payment on utility bills, rent, personal loans and other areas of financial constraint.

The centre asserted that the rise in the nation's financial difficulties was a result of a surge in food and oil prices over the course of October. During the month, food inflation went up by 5.1 per cent - the highest figure noted for six months. In particular such increases are said to impact upon elderly people the most, as vegetable and bread rises have gone up by eight and five per cent respectively. Meanwhile, oils, dairy products and fats all rose by over 11 per cent.

Meanwhile, fuel price inflation stands at more than 12 per cent, a rate which could affect motorists' ability to meet other demands on their spending, such as tax, MOT or repayments on the personal loan they may have taken out to fund the purchase of their vehicle in the first place. The news comes despite falls in levels of electricity and gas inflation.

Commenting on the figures, Shona Dobbie, head of the Alliance Trust Research Centre, said: "Inflation pressures are starting to rise again. The oil price has recently moved to a new record level and this is already pushing petrol and transport costs higher. Food price inflation has been a concern in recent months and we suspect that there could be more to come. This is likely to have the biggest impact on the inflation rate facing the over-75s since this age group spends a much higher proportion of their household budgets on basic items such as food."

She added that throughout the course of Alliance Trust's research older people "have consistently suffered the highest levels of inflation". And with such difficulties set "to continue for some time", these people may well discover that they are evermore struggling to make payments on utility bills, personal loans and other demands on their spending. However, now young consumers are facing an equal amount of high pressure, as they deal with inflationary levels which are "significantly higher than the headline rate".

The rise in financial difficulties for these Britons was mainly attributed to rising costs of rent and basic goods. In addition, higher education prices are reported to have increased by more than 13 per cent during the last 12 months. Overall, both the under-30s and those over the age of 75 are currently privy to an inflation rate of 2.5 per cent - a figure which is about a fifth above the official rate of 2.1 per cent.

As a result, those concerned that they are set to face an increase in financial pressure could be advised to apply for a low-rate personal loan to help them manage their spending over the coming months. However to ensure that they receive a competitive rate of interest, consumers may well wish to take out a copy of their credit report first to ensure that it is free of any errors. Earlier this year, Sean Gardner, chief executive of MoneyExpert, reported that those who have adverse financial histories are often liable to take out loans which attract a higher rate of interest.