UK families’ disposable incomes rose for the fourth consecutive month in September as well as recording the largest rise in nearly three years, according to data released today.
According to the Asda Income Tracker, UK families were £4 a week better off in September compared to the same month last year with the average household having £149 a week of discretionary income, up 2.9 per cent on the year before.
Inflation is at its lowest rate since November 2009 and unemployment fell 7.9 per cent in the three months to August 2012 bringing relief to squeezed incomes though recently announced utility price hikes are set to put added pressure on personal finances.
Rob Harbron, an Economist at Cebr said:“The latest inflationary slowdown, decrease in unemployment and faster wage growth will be welcome news for UK families.
“Conditions for households are certainly looking up. However, risks do remain to the outlook as utility price rises are set for later this year and wage growth is likely to remain well below pre-financial crisis levels.”
Regionally, Northern Irish families have seen discretionary income fall behind the UK average as the national unemployment rate shot up 0.6 per cent year-on-year in the quarter to August while the North East saw disposable income increase 6.2 per cent year-on-year.
Meanwhile, the South of England has maintained levels greater than the UK average, with households having an average of £278 a week disposable income.
Commenting on the results as a whole, Asda President and CEO Andy Clarke said: “The good news continues for UK families for now at least – with more disposable income in their pockets now than they had a year ago.
“However it’s worrying to see the cost of essentials creeping back up, and with winter drawing in the cost of heating and lighting a home will further increase the demands on family budgets.”