Asda says disposable income is up for first time in two years

Kasmira Jefford
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BRITISH households were £1 a week better off in July compared to the same month a year earlier, the largest annual increase in more than two years, according to the latest figures from Asda’s income tracker.

Families had £151 a week left over last month after paying bills, up 0.6 per cent on the previous year and the second consecutive – albeit marginal – increase recorded by Asda’s monthly tracker.

The supermarket said improvement was driven in part by easing inflation, with food, clothing and transport inflation all falling over the month.

The unemployment rate also fell to eight per cent during the three months to June 2012 – a decrease of 0.2 percentage points on the quarter and the lowest rate since June 2011.

Asda chief executive Andy Clarke said the figures were a sign of “light at the end of the tunnel” for UK households. But he warned that despite “an improved picture families have very real worries about unemployment and the fragility of the wider economic situation”.

Charles Davis, head of macroeconomics at the Centre for Economics and Business Research, which compiles the survey, said that “it may not be all plain sailing ahead” and warned that increases in the cost of crude oil could well feed through into the cost of living in the coming months.