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Over the past two decades prices have been rising rapidly in some sectors while declining in others, compared with inflation and wages. The purpose of this paper is to analyse what the key factors are that explain these price patterns. In doing so this paper analyses a number of sectors which are key household expenditure items and investigates what factors are driving increases or decreases to prices.

This paper finds that there are a range of factors pushing prices either up or down, such as the prevalence of international trade, how labour-intensive an industry is, and the changing nature of consumer preferences.

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