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Living standards

Material living standards are the result of labour market outcomes, taxes, benefits, housing and more. Bringing all of these together, we track past, present and projected changes in incomes to assess how the economy is really working for households. We look especially at low-to-middle-income families, and at the various inequalities in modern Britain.


Adam Corlett

Principal Economist
T: 020 3372 2983

Lalitha Try

T: 0203 372 2906

Trading standards

How exposure to global trade shapes our living standards

Britain is an open economy, and has become more open over recent decades – despite the impact of Brexit and ‘slowbalisation’. But the quantity and type of goods and services…
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Saving for today. And tomorrow.

How to boost households financial resilience now, and living standards in retirement

British households aren’t saving enough. Pensions auto-enrolment has got far more of us saving for retirement, but too many of us are not on track for a comfortable old age.…
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From merry Christmas to a messy new year

What 2024 has in store


2024 is going to be messy, for our living standards not just politics. The past two years have been dominated by rising energy and food bills, with everyone affected. It…
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Turning a corner?

The political and economic outlook for a critical election year

The worst of the cost of living crisis appears to be behind us, with inflation more than halving since its peak. But 2024 may not be plain sailing economically, and…
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Rising rents and rebounding wages

Where is Britain’s cost-of-living crisis heading?

Inflation is down, but Britain’s cost-of-living crisis is still very much with us. The legacy of previous price rises for energy and food are now combining with a new pressure:…
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Perma-crisis people

The divergent economic prospects between generations

Advanced economies across the globe have experienced a series of unprecedented economic shocks since the start of the century. But they have not affected all generations equally. The disproportionate impact…
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Good work across the UK’s nations, regions and industries

The 11th Annual NERI Dónal Nevin Lecture


The 11th Annual NERI Dónal Nevin Lecture in association with the School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work at Queen’s University Belfast took place on Monday 16 October, 2023…
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