The pound has lost a third of it's value.
We are in for some very serious stagflation in my view as the gains made to our economic efficiency in the Thatcher Major years are unpicked with ease by Brown.
As the recession knocks out competitors the survivors boost margins to protect gross income; the opposite of what people are saying will happen (ie that greater competition will keep prices low).
I sometimes wonder if people have forgotten the 1970's. If there are less shops to buy things from, prices *rise*.
And the situation is made much worse by the pound losing a third of it's value against most other world currencies (and not simply the Euro and Dollar as the BBC would have you believe).
All those super cheap deals on manufactured consumer items like plasma TV's and sat nav units from China are over, and at just the point when consumers are having doubts about spending anyway.
Your car is going to cost a third more to replace, and the reasale value of the existing one has dropped by about another 40% last year so the cost to change has rocketed. Keeping your car then? servicing and repairs will skyrocket as parts costs will double - manufacturers will keep less in stock and charge you more to try and make up lost profits on new car sales.
I damaged my mobile over Christmas and all those free mobile phone offers are gone already, o2 won’t do 12 month contracts anymore, you have to sign for at least 18 months. Nearly all mobiles are imported and costs to the mobile company of providing them have gone up by 30-50%.
I can remember before Thatcher and it wasn't the socialist utopia many seem to remember (or imagine) it was. I remember 'panic buying' as a weekly occurrence, regular queues for petrol, bread - even toilet rolls were rationed at one point.