So, they\’ve taken the general rate of inflation and then compared it to the rate of inflation for specific goods.
Prices of goods rise and fall over time due to numerous factors, but we wondered if some of our regular purchases have increased in line with inflation over history, or whether we are paying far more than previous generations for our pleasures.
In 1981, the last time a royal wedding obsessed the nation, inflation was 11.9%, and it has never been as high since (the most recent monthly figure is 4.4%). Using the calculations of Phil Gooding, senior statistician at the Office for National Statistics, that inflation based on the retail price index has risen 209% between December 1981 and the end of last month, we looked at how much 10 items would cost today, if inflation was the only factor that changed prices.
It\’s quite fun in its way, manufactured goods are down, services up and goods that are taxed (beer say) are well up. There\’s amusement at the way that The Guardian itself is twice what the general inflation rate would predict (profiteering bastards!).
However, there\’s a small conceptual problem. There is in fact no \”general\” rate of inflation, something which just happens and against which we can compare such specific rates. That general rate is in fact the average rate of all of those specific rates. So what is actually being done is looking at how the various components of that average rate have changed, leading to the calculation of that average or general rate.
And yes, we\’d expect manufactures to have a lower inflation rate than services (Baumol\’s Cost Disease yet again) and of ourse, given that tax grabbing bastards that rule us, those things were there are discretionary taxes.
Beer\’s 150% or so of that average rate: put\’s that \”alcohol has become more affordable\” into context, doesn\’t it?