UK disposable income falls to lowest since 1921


Jeebus, who writes these things?

The Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) said soaring inflation coupled with low pay rises means household peacetime disposable income is at its lowest since 1921.

No friggin\’ way. Don\’t these people understand how damn rich we are compared to 1921?

Rising food, clothing and energy prices mean the average British family will have £910 less to spend this year than they did in 2009.

The CEBR calculates that household disposable income will fall by 2pc this year, more than double last year\’s fall of 0.8pc and the biggest drop since the savage 1919 to 1921 post-First World War recession.

Stupid bastards. The largest fall in disposable income since 1921, yes. But not a fall to below the levels of 1921.

If we take 1987 as being 100 (hey, that\’s just the way the index is calculated) then real wages (ie, adjusted for inflation) were 30 in 1921, they\’re 131 in 2009.

Somewhere between four and five times higher.

Hey, I\’m not trying to say that everything is just flowering in the rose garden, but there is absolutely no way at all that disposable income is at the levels of, or below, those of 1921. We really haven\’t just lost 90 year\’s worth of economic growth.

But it\’ll be interesting to see who picks up and runs with this mistake, won\’t it?

5 thoughts on “UK disposable income falls to lowest since 1921”

  1. Two seconds of thought about how many street urchins I have seen recently running around in bare feet (none) would have made me doubt this, but I am not a Journalist with their multiple layers of fact checking.

  2. Is the cut in living standards a natural happening? Or has it been caused by political scum and their bungling, meddling failure?The very meddlers beloved of the Guardian are the cause of the circumstances the Guardian bewails. And neither of them are any good at maths.

  3. I admire the skills of someone who deals with a post about the Telegraph saying something monumentally fuckwitted by attacking the Grauniad.

  4. CEBR forecast a 2% cut in household disposable income. This is small beer compared to the 10% cut in spending that will be required just to get it down to the peak level of income in 2008.
    @ Tim, you missed out the minor blunders – CEBR says this will be the steepest fall since 1921 *apart from the War years and the General Strike* and a footnote says that “the two-year fall forecast is only slightly larger than the 2.7% fall that took place in 1976 and 1977” – very marginally the difference is a rounding error (rounding the answer instead of the intermediate numbers gets 2.71%) which is well within their margin of error.
    @ not-quite-namesake Of course you are right but Rupert Neate used to write for the Guardian and his latest article belongs there so maybe Mr Ecks was on auto-pilot.

  5. Most journalists don’t understand the difference between a value and the rate of change of that value.

    Hence the wonderful headline last year that “food prices in Scotland have doubled in the last twelve months”. No, I didn’t think so either, and on close inspection what they meant was that the rate of increase of prices had gone up from 2.5% annually to 5% annually.


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