- The average UK household had £157 a week of discretionary income in September 2013, down £2 a week from the same month last year and £8 a week from its peak in February 2010
- Weak wage growth was again a key factor, up just 0.8% over the past year – the smallest year-on-year rise on record
- The rising cost of energy continues to put pressure on household budgets, with the price of electricity and gas up 8.1% and 8.3% respectively
- Good news for home owners as the cost of inflation on mortgage interest payments fell for the sixth consecutive month to 2.3% year-on-year – the lowest rate since July 2012
- Across the UK, spending power fell back in every region except for the East of England (0.6%), with the West Midlands (-3.5%) and Northern Ireland (-3.5%) hardest hit
The latest Asda Income Tracker has revealed that family spending power fell by £2 a week year-on-year in September 2013 – driven by the weakest wage growth on record in the UK.
According to the latest figures, released today (Monday 21st October), the average UK family had £157 of discretionary income available to them in September 2013, down £2 on last month and well below its peak of £165, last seen in February 2010.
A weak increase in the average UK wage was again a key factor behind the rising cost in living, with average pay up just 0.8% in the three months to September. This was less than a third of the rate of essential item inflation (2.8%) and the lowest rise on record.
There was welcome news, as the rate of essential item inflation fell marginally to 2.8%, but the cost of living continues to outpace net income growth (2.1%), squeezing household budgets further. The cost of gas and electricity, for instance, rose by 8.1% and 8.3% respectively in September– the highest rate for three months. The cost of utilities is now 24.7% higher than it was in 2008, equivalent to £700 a year, and will top £4,200 by 2018.
Across the UK, spending power fell back in every region except for the East of England (up 1.2%) and Scotland (up 0.6%), largely thanks to strengthening local labour markets in these areas. Households in Northern Ireland continue to be hit hardest, with discretionary income down 3.5% to just £60 a week – almost a quarter of the amount available to households in London (£235 a week).
For more information, please see Asda’s website.