Press Centre

Asda cuts price of petrol again as increasing transport costs put families under pressure

Latest Income Tracker shows a further drop in disposable income

  • Asda cuts petrol prices again to ease the strain of rising transport costs
  • 4.2 pc year on year decrease in discretionary income of average UK household
  • £8 a week decrease in family spending power compared with the same month a year ago


Asda has today announced a reduction in its petrol prices, adding to the cut it made last week, bringing unleaded and diesel down to no more than 113.9p and 116.9p respectively. The move, effective from Thursday morning, will be a helpful boost to families as the latest Income Tracker shows an £8/week fall in the disposable income available to average UK families compared to a year ago.

The Income Tracker shows that there was an 11pc rise in transport costs year on year in April 2010, putting direct pressure on family spending power. The average UK household had £177 a week of discretionary income in April 2010, 4.2pc lower than a year earlier. The AA has confirmed that petrol prices increased by 26.8pc annually in April.

Download the full Income Tracker report.

Food costs also rose by 2.8 per cent in April year on year, up from a 2.0 per cent year on year increase in March and utility bills increased by 0.2 per cent in April compared to a year ago, the second consecutive month of annual increases after a long period of decline. While the VAT reversal helped boost spending power a year ago, that the reverse is true today. In addition the rise in commodity prices and weak sterling are putting pressure on the cost of essentials.

Andy Clarke, Asda president and CEO said:

“This month’s tracker shows £8 a week drop in disposable income, reiterating that life is still tough for consumers and this is unlikely to change.

“To ease the pressure we have led again on cutting the price of petrol at the pump, and two consecutive weekly drops in price will be a welcome relief to customers.”

Charles Davis, the economist at Cebr who compiles the Income Tracker report for Asda, said:

“The labour market continues to provide mixed signals; earnings growth has picked up in early 2010 as bonus payments across the economy rose, but unemployment is above the 2.5 million mark for the first time since 1994 and with a sluggish recovery, significant spare capacity and public sector cut backs all expected, earnings growth is likely to fall back over the coming months.

At the same time, the cost of living has continued to rise, with sterling depreciation and commodity price rises playing a key role. The rise in inflation above target caused a small annual decline in the Asda Income Tracker for the third time in five months.”

Note to editors:

This report has been produced by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr), an independent economics and business research consultancy established in 1993 providing forecasts and advice to City institutions, government departments, local authorities and numerous blue chip companies throughout Europe. The contributors to this report are Owen James, Charles Davis and Douglas McWilliams.

We use official data to provide an up to date and accurate measure of spending power. From April 2010, the income tracker is based on updated official base data on family expenditure and income from the Office for National Statistics Family Spending 2009 survey and the new Average Weekly Earnings measure of earnings growth; making it not directly comparable with previous versions – but up to date as possible with the latest data.

Posted in Press Centre on 26 May 2010