Middle-aged are the big spenders

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The Independent Online
THE MIDDLE-AGED generation is booming economically, says a study of the spending power of over-50s published today. Britons in the 50 to 64 age group are leading the country with the highest incomes and are the biggest spenders on food, goods and leisure.

A Mori poll for Help the Aged found that less than half of those aged 55 to 64 were still working. But these "younger older" people had a gross income of pounds 457 per week, compared with an average across the adult population of pounds 397.

They spend pounds 77 a week on food and drink compared with pounds 67 in most households and pounds 115 on leisure goods and services compared with the average of pounds 90. Professor Robert Worcester, the Mori chairman, said the findings underlined the significance of "grey power".

He said: "They have high disposable incomes, many have substantial savings and leisure time in which to spend them. Their economic power and importance as a key consumer group should be obvious."

But Sandra Chalmers of Help the Aged warned that while those aged 50 to 64 were doing well, many of the older generation were not. The research disclosed high levels of frustration among the over-65s on the issues of health, pensions and transport.

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