Family spending dropped for the first time in ten years last year due to the pressures of the recession, according to a report published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) today.
In 2009 household expenditure in the UK averaged at £455 per week, compared with £471 the year before.
Weekly spending on clothing and footwear items fell slightly to £20.90 per week, whereas expenditure on household goods and services such as furniture and appliances hit a long-term low of £30.10 from £53 in 2008.
Giles Horsfield, editor of the report and an ONS statistician, commented: “This is the first annual decline in average UK household spend since the current method of recording was introduced in 2001-02.
“It’s interesting to note that expenditure fell again on clothing which took it to a record low under current methods, for the third year in a row.”
A recent improvement in overall retail trading would suggest that household spending figures will be far healthier for 2010, but worries over the economy continue to put pressure on family finances.
According to the latest monthly report by GfK NOP, consumer confidence fell in November to a -21 index score, with worries over personal finances for the next 12 months having the biggest impact.
Nick Moon, MD of GfK NOP Social Research, said: “There would need to be a further drop next month before we could definitely say things are getting worse, and that people really are concerned about the impact of the cuts in the Comprehensive Spending Review.
“What is more worrying in this month’s figures is that the worst-performing elements of the index are those that look to the future, with a five point fall in confidence for people’s personal financial situation over the next 12 months.
“Consumer confidence appears to be finely balanced – we have seen the index see-saw between rises and falls every month since July. December’s findings could therefore indicate what kind of 2011 the country can expect to see.”