March best month in years for struggling household finances

Ben Southwood
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A BUMP in private sector pay led households’ earnings from work up for the first time in two-and-a-half years in March, as part of the best month for wallets since 2010.

Markit’s household finance index climbed from 37.7 to 39.3 in March, the economics consultancy said this morning, still under the crucial no change value of 50 – but at its joint highest level since December 2010.

This means that although household finances are worsening, they are worsening at the slowest pace for nearly two and a half years.

The most encouraging figures came from the labour market – job insecurity was at its lowest since February 2009 – while workers got busier, with workplace activity up at its highest for three years. And income from jobs grew for the first time since September 2010.

“Households are clearly seeing no signs of a triple-dip recession,” judged Markit chief economist Chris Williamson. “On the contrary, household reported that their finances deteriorated at one of the slowest rates since mid-2010.”