Disposable incomes 'hit new low'
Thursday 24 May 2012
Families' disposable incomes are at their lowest since 2008,
despite the decline in their spending power slowing, a report has said.
UK households had £144 a week of discretionary income in April on average, the lowest level since November 2008, the Asda Income Tracker found.
The study shows how families are feeling squeezed despite official figures showing this week that inflation fell to its lowest level in more than two years last month, as high street discounting eased some of the pressure on household budgets.
The Asda study said that families were £6 a week worse off than they were a year ago, although this was the smallest year-on-year decline since March 2011.
Growth in the cost of living slowed notably in April, to the lowest rate in 19 months, the report said.
But households' income growth was described as "still very fragile", with the improving cost of basic goods being overshadowed by tough labour market conditions with below-inflation wage increases and high unemployment.
The report warned that "family finances are likely to remain constrained for some time yet".
Despite some recent improvements in the cost of utilities and food, with energy providers making cuts to bills in March, they are still two of the main factors putting pressure on discretionary spend, the study found.
Electricity and gas charges were 8.1% and 15.4% higher respectively in April than 12 months previously, while food costs rose by 4.3% over the year.
Petrol and diesel prices were 4.9% and 4.2% higher in April than a year before, with the benefit of supermarket price cutting yet to kick in, the report said.
Family spending power is the amount remaining to spend on leisure and recreation after taxes and basic items are subtracted from budgets.
- 1 Humans of New York image of crying gay teen receives best response yet from Ellen DeGeneres
- 2 What supermodels really think about posing in the nude
- 3 North Korean defector flees to Finland 'with evidence of chemical testing on humans'
- 4 Black teen in critical condition after store employee 'shoots him for stealing 79-cent pack of cookies'
- 5 Swedish minister gives strongest case yet on why EU should stop turning away asylum seekers
Humans of New York image of crying gay teen receives best response yet from Ellen DeGeneres
Greece debt crisis explainer: A history of just how the country landed itself in such a mess
North Korean defector flees to Finland 'with evidence of chemical testing on humans'
Swedish minister gives strongest case yet on why EU should stop turning away asylum seekers
Isis schoolgirl Amira Abase who fled London to join terrorists in Syria mocks victims of Tunisia massacre
More Britons believe that multiculturalism makes the country worse - not better, says poll
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
Osborne to cap family benefits at £23,000 – announced ahead of his post-election Budget
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture
£25000 - £65000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the UK's premier supplie...
£7 - £10 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This care provider is looking for Home ...
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the UK's leading web des...
£27000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A growing, successful, friendly...