Income Tracker: September 2013
The latest Asda Income Tracker shows that family spending power has fallen to £157 a week – the lowest for six months.
This was down by £2 a week year-on-year in September 2013 and less than £8 a week lower than at its peak in February 2010. This was driven by high energy costs and a record low in wage rises.
The average UK wage rose by up to 0.8% in the three months to September whereas the cost of essential items was 2.8%.
The cost of gas and electricity rose by 8.1% and 8.3% respectively in September which means a household’s energy costs are now almost 25% higher than in 2008 – equivalent to £700 a year – and will top £4,200 by 2018.
There was better news for consumers in the East of England where the average family spending power was up 1.2% and Scotland (up 0.6%). However households in Northern Ireland continue to be hardest hit 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).
Our chief exec Andy Clarke says: "It’s encouraging to see that inflation in essential items is heading in the right direction. However, it is becoming even more evident that action needs to be taken to address widespread regional discrepancies.
“When you look beyond the capital and South East the situation across the regions gets steadily worse – with families in Northern Ireland and the North East still squeezed to a far greater degree.
“We can only celebrate the full benefits of an economic recovery if it is a fair recovery for all and the continued shortfall for millions of households is a worrying and unacceptable reality.”
Your can read the full report here