Family incomes start to recover after long squeeze from prices

Tim Wallace
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Shoppers have £5 more per week available to spend than they did this time last year
Shoppers’ spending power is starting to recover from the long squeeze of low pay rises and high inflation, according to data from Asda.

The average household had discretionary income of £172 per week in August, up £5 on the year.

The 11th consecutive rise brings spending power close to its all-time high of £174, which was seen back in January 2010 – though that cash does not go as far today as it did then, thanks to four years of sustained inflation.

“For almost a year now, households have seen a continued growth in discretionary income, boosting confidence that spending power is on the up and helping to steady the ship of the UK economy,” said Asda’s boss Andy Clarke.

Inflation fell to 1.2 per cent in the 12 months to August, its lowest level in almost five years.

And essentials were behind much of the drop, as fuel and food prices dropped.

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