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The big squeeze

This week’s inflation figures would appear to confirm the latter suspicions, and debunk the former – within the 0.7 per cent January ‘jump’ alcohol prices did indeed rise, while food prices slipped marginally. The biggest single contributor accounting for half of the increase was the recreation and culture basket, accounting for almost half of the rise – given that sporting events, theatres and cinemas remain shut, one can only assume that the increase has been driven by stay-at-home entertainment. And that’s even before Netflix puts the price of its top package up to £13.99 a month, a whopping 17 per cent increase.

Prices are rising elsewhere, too. According to the latest ONS figures, house prices rose 8.5 per cent last year, the fastest rate of growth since 2014 – that’s a quite incredible rate given the pandemic backdrop, but then again, an incredible amount of government support has also been thrown at this key sector. 

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