Cheap milk and tobacco – but not a golden era

IN 1952, the year of the Queen’s accession to the throne, having £10 in your pocket would have been a rare occurrence – the equivalent of £187 today, writes Stephen Blackman.

A kilo of bacon would have cost you just 36p, milk cost less then 3p, eggs 23p a dozen, while a bottle of beer would have set you back 9p.

Smokers may be upset to hear that a packet of 20 cigarettes cost less than 18p.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

One of the biggest changes is in house prices. In 1952, when Winston Churchill was prime minister, the average house cost £1,891 in 1952. A similar house today (with mod cons, of course) would cost £162,722.

So times have certainly changed – at least when it comes to cost. Yet the economy now has a faint echo of 1952.

Then, too, was a period of austerity. One difference is the unemployment rate stood at just 1.9 per cent in 1952, compared with more than 8 per cent now.

There’s one issue where we hope history doesn’t repeat itself: 1952 was also an Olympic year. Yet the UK recorded its lowest ever medal tally in 1952, winning just one gold.

l Stephen Blackman is an economist at RBS.