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Students squeezed by inflation spike, research warns

Britain's students are experiencing sharper rises in inflation than other people, new figures from the Open University have shown.While the government's own Consumer Price Index (CPI) stands at 4.4 per cent, the university's first Student Price Index has registered 6.6 per cent for July.This is especially worrying, as the latest CPI rate is a 16-year high.According to the Open University, students are being squeezed harder by inflation because they spend a larger amount on items which have suffered particularly sharp rises.These include tobacco, food and drink and clothing.Alan Shipman, an economist who helped compile the index, said: "Inflation hits different socio-economic groups in varying ways. In my research, students are certainly experiencing a higher inflationary rate because the cost of what they need to buy is among the highest categories of price rises."He added: "To say that this will be the most expensive academic year for higher education students to date would not be stretching it. For many students, it is their first experience of independence, and stepping out into the current economic climate will be a hard lesson in itself."

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