Press Centre

Asda’s monthly income tracker for March shows the UK average household is £1 a week worse off

Asda’s monthly income tracker report for March reveals: Even though average earnings before tax went up £24 a week over the last year, the average family was £1 a week worse off. This is because tax and essentials like food, housing and transport cost £25 a week more.
The average UK household family has 1.0% less disposable income to spend on leisure and entertainment (£131) in March 2008 than (£132) in March 2007

  • Cost of living (spending on essentials) has risen 5.2%
  • Gross income growth has increased by 3.8%
  • Net income (income after compulsory tax and national insurance contributions) increased just 3.6%
  • Transport costs are up 7.1%, including 20.3% rise in petrol
  • Food and non alcoholic drink are up 5.5%
  • Clothes prices are down 5.2%
  • The cost of housing fuel and power increased by 4% over the 12 months to March 2008.

Andy Bond, Asda CEO, says: “March’s data reveals that the growth in household inflation has actually levelled out at 5.2%. However, as retailers we must redouble our efforts on behalf of our customers, to not pass on any unnecessary price rises.

“In practise that means challenging both ourselves and our suppliers to lower costs even further, to keep a lock down on inflation.

“The latest figures show that despite a moderate growth in income, families are still £1 a week worse off compared to this time last year. This highlights the importance of having a competitive retail sector that drives down prices and enables the economy to grow.”

The ASDA income tracker is a barometer for the economic welfare of ‘middle Britain’, taking into account income, tax and all basic expenditure items. ASDA has commissioned this research to obtain a greater understanding of its customers’ finances and the key costs they face on a monthly basis.

No other supermarket has a customer base that matches the demographics of the UK so closely, which is why this research looks at average incomes as an indicator of how ASDA customers are faring. The income tracker, which is compiled by the centre for economics and business research, reveals that the average household cost of living has increased 5.2% piling further pressure on household budgets.

Posted in Press Centre on 21 April 2008