Jane Austen and the mystery of the shrinking 10-pound note? - Aviva

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Jane Austen and the mystery of the shrinking 10-pound note?

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AR011037 09/2017

July saw the launch of the new 10-pound note, featuring Jane Austen on the 200th anniversary of her death in 1817[1].

The latest price inflation figure now sits at 2.9% - exceeding the government’s 2% target for the sixth month in a row[2]. Our analysis shows how inflation has shrunk the purchasing power of ten pounds since 1817, by nearly 99 per cent[3].

The new 13-pence note

Today, 10-pounds has a relative purchasing power of only 13 pence, compared to what it could buy in 1817. If the Bank of England had wanted today’s new ten-pound note to have the same purchasing power it enjoyed in 1817, it should be a786-pound note!

Our own recent research found ‘price increases’ to be the number one financial concern amongst adults in the UK[4].

Inflation silently shrinks the value of cash, and the new 10-pound note allows us to powerfully demonstrate the impact of inflation over time. 

In Mansfield Park, Jane Austen wrote “A large income is the best recipe for happiness I ever heard of.” With cautious budgeting and careful investing, inflation need not mess with that recipe.


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