Economic figures paint a mixed picture

Cost of living increasing Photo: adebond

Cost of living increasing Photo: adebond

The latest inflation figures show a grim picture as prices rose at a high rate in December last year. According to the data by the Office for National Statistics, Consumer Price Index increased from 1.9% in November to 2.9% in December.

CPI measures the change in prices for goods and services bought by households in the UK and it is based on average spending patterns of UK households.

The increase in inflation was due to a hike in oil prices and value added tax as compared to the year before. The sectors which had the highest price increase were transport, clothing and footwear.

A local Costcutter store representative in Lewisham said that the increase in prices meant “more problems for the retail sector as the cost of doing business will increase in the coming months.”

If you want to get an idea of how inflation will affect your own lifestyle, it can be done through the Personal Inflation Calculator developed by ONS.

Athough the rising inflation has not been a source of optimism for the east London boroughs, there was some respite, as for the first time in 18 months, the number of people unemployed in the UK declined.

The number of unemployment decreased by 7,000 to 2.46 million. The current rate of unemployment is 7.8% as compared to 7.9% last month. One of the reasons for the decline was more people working part-time due to unavailability of full-time jobs. The total number of people working part-time is now 7.71 million, increased by 99,000 over the last quarter.

The number of people on Jobseeker’s Allowance has also decreased by 15,200 to 1.61 million last month.

In Croydon, youth between the ages of 18-24 are seeking part-time work opportunities at the Job Centre Plus and are willing to take any and every kind of job.

The unemployment rate in Croydon central is 4.4%, which means that 3,266 people are unemployed. The rate is 2.9%, (1,805 people) in South and 5.2% (4,261 people) in North Croydon.

Sara Tom, a 23-year-old resident from North Croydon said: “I have been looking for a job, full-time or part-time for almost a year but have not been able to find anything”.

The unemployment rates in the other east London boroughs are as follows: Lewisham West, 4.8% (2,570), Lewisham East 5.2% (3,456), Hackney South 7.5% (5,412) and Hackney North 6.2% (4,331).