Support 100 years of independent journalism.

  1. Business
  2. Economics
23 March 2022

Personal inflation calculator: how do you compare to the rest of Britain?

Our calculator shows how you could be affected by surging prices in the UK.

By Nicu Calcea and Josh Rayman

Inflation is increasingly driving up the cost of living in Britain, with the latest figures showing an annual increase in prices of 8.8 per cent to July 2022, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). This figure represents the CPIH, which accounts for housing costs, rather than the more widely watched CPI.

The Bank of England expects inflation to rise to around 8 per cent this spring, with the figure slowly falling in the months after. These projections, however, do not account for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the subsequent disruption in global trade, which is set to drive prices further up.

The headline inflation rate – as the ONS itself admits – is only an average, and doesn’t reflect how rising costs affect the personal experiences of individuals.

“The headline CPIH measure captures the average, but everyone has their own personal inflation rate,” writes Mike Hardie, the head of inflation statistics at the ONS.

“Some people may spend a larger proportion of their income on gas and electricity, or petrol if you commute via car daily.”

The New Statesman has built a personal inflation calculator below that accounts for your individual spending habits to present a clearer picture of how rising costs may impact your standard of living.

Of course, even our calculator cannot offer a fully accurate picture of your finances. Inflation rates vary across different geographies, different lifestyles and different purchases. Even shopping at one supermarket over the other will change how you are affected by the living standards crisis.

It should, however, help you to understand your finances a little better. Even small deviations from the headline inflation indicators can add up month-to-month.

What inflation rate are we measuring?

The ONS mainly uses three indicators to measure inflations: Retail Prices Index (RPI), Consumer Price Index (CPI) and Consumer Prices Index including owner occupiers’ housing costs (CPIH).

The RPI, which is consistently the highest of the three, is considered outdated due to some major shortcomings, but it is still maintained for historic reasons. This measure includes mortgage interest payments, making it heavily reflect house prices.

Content from our partners
Why ports are the gateway to growth
We are living longer than our predecessors – policy must catch up
Getting Britain building

The RPI has largely been replaced by the CPI across various government calculations. Compared with its predecessor, the CPI doesn’t include any housing costs. There are also differences in what kinds of expenses are counted in, with the latter excluding things such as the TV licence but including university accommodation fees. The CPI is often the inflation indicator most widely covered in the media – especially when it is higher than the CPIH.

The CPIH, which has for the past five years been the headline rate measured by the ONS and what we used for our calculations, is similar to the CPI, but includes owner-occupiers’ housing costs and council tax.

Select and enter your email address Quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics from the New Statesman's politics team. A weekly newsletter helping you fit together the pieces of the global economic slowdown. The New Statesman’s global affairs newsletter, every Monday and Friday. The best of the New Statesman, delivered to your inbox every weekday morning. The New Statesman’s weekly environment email on the politics, business and culture of the climate and nature crises - in your inbox every Thursday. Our weekly culture newsletter – from books and art to pop culture and memes – sent every Friday. A weekly round-up of some of the best articles featured in the most recent issue of the New Statesman, sent each Saturday. A newsletter showcasing the finest writing from the ideas section and the NS archive, covering political ideas, philosophy, criticism and intellectual history - sent every Wednesday. Sign up to receive information regarding NS events, subscription offers & product updates.
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
I consent to New Statesman Media Group collecting my details provided via this form in accordance with the Privacy Policy
THANK YOU

Topics in this article: , ,