Comments: Haircuts aren't a snip - even with low inflation

Hurrah! I thought I was the only one to notice this.

Posted by Richard G Brown at April 16, 2006 11:26 AM


First, I don't use a hairdresser (I have clippers), and second my wife who does use a hairdresser normally spends about 100 a time. So 50p increase every three months is 2 a year giving a inflation rate of 2%. See the CPI is exactly measuring inflation.

Anyway which type men use hairdressers, I was always told men go to Barbers, and women to hairdressers?

Posted by kingofnowhere at April 18, 2006 09:43 AM

That's a sensible economic decision - clippers have come down in price as haircuts have gone up. But if your wife is only paying 50p extra each time she's either doing well or not telling. 50p or a pound on 20 (yes 20 - I could buy a set of clippers for that) is quite a high rate of inflation. As for barbers, I think you're talking about the pre-unisex era there - Brylcreem and short back and sides.

Posted by David Smith at April 18, 2006 09:55 AM

You just don't understand gentlemen, there's nothing hair-raising about official inflation figures at all. Just this week Margaret Hodge told us that the economy is in great shape with very low unemployment and low inflation!

And inflation is very low - we know this because our honest and prudent leaders tell us so. These low official figures have the added benefit that the MPC don't feel pressured to raise interest rates, which could likely send the housing market into freefall, and propel thousands more good people into insolvency.

Now just ignore those jibes about the housing market tail wagging the MPC dog here for a moment - don't be so unpatriotic! They're looking after us, and low inflation figures are Good News For Everyone.

High inflation means higher interest rates and that lowers our esteemed leaders' re-election chances.

And we can't have that now, can we?

Posted by Paul Owen at April 19, 2006 12:46 PM


A few observations:

I get a hair cut and pay my utility and energy bills at least every month. I buy a digital camera once every 5 years (I dont actually own one). Does the CPI basket take account of this? Additionally, the goods on which we have deflation appear to be luxuries, while inflation appears to be 10%+ on essentials.

Posted by Ash at April 19, 2006 08:23 PM

To be fair to the official statisticians, the inflation baskets are based on average spending patterns from detailed surveys of households - e.g. the Expenditure and Food Survey - so they don't assume people buy a digital camera every month.

Posted by David Smith at April 19, 2006 08:37 PM

The additional weakness of published inflation figures (and the level of pension increases) is that they inevitably conflate the expenditure of all memebers of society. As a retired economist I ama ware that I spend relatively little of my income on the goods which are falling in price and an increasing proportion on goods which are pretty effectively fixed costs - even using price comparison sites etc, there is a rapid end to the point at which eg energy can be bought more cheaply from one supplier than another. Thus it would be helpful o have a pensioners price index except that with growing numbers of pensioners the range of income and expenditure must be growing.

Posted by John Rees at April 22, 2006 05:42 AM
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