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    Disposable income grows for first time in two years

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    Northern Ireland, Wales and the West Midlands have experienced growth in disposable income during September for the first time in two years, as financial pressures facing families begin to ease.

    According to latest figures from Asda’s Income Tracker, disposable income for the average family in Northern Ireland has increased by £5 per week to £103, making it the UK’s third strongest growing region in the third quarter of 2023. Families in Wales and West Midlands saw a year-on-year increase in their disposable income, rising from £169 to £179 and £173 to £174 respectively.

    Household disposable incomes grew in all UK regions except the South West, driven by a robust job market and growth in earnings throughout the quarter, which is predicted to outstrip inflation in the near future.

    Across the UK, the amount households had to spend on themselves, after paying taxes and essential bills, grew by 5.2 per cent to an average of £221 per week, compared to £208 in the last quarter.

    Despite improvements across the UK, the gap between the capital and the rest of the country remains stark. The average household in London saw their household disposable income increase by 7.3 per cent to £292 per week.

    There is also a noticeable difference between high and low earning households, with 40 per cent of all UK households having negative disposable income in September, meaning the value of their post-tax income is less than they need to spend on bills and essentials. The shortfall for the lowest earning families was £75 per week in September, which represents a 25 per cent fall in their disposable income year-on-year.

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