Consumers in the UK saw an increase in spending power over the four weeks ending in 2023, a positive sign heading through the beginning of the new year, shows recent data.
The latest Income Tracker from retailer Asda covering the latest figures from December suggest that the spending power is at the best level since September 2021, when the COVID-19 pandemic and soaring inflation was still heavily impacting spending and income. From April 2023 on, however, shoppers experienced consistent gains over the past eight months.
Still, with inflation slowing again and high-income earners driving spending, the news for supermarkets and convenience stores can only be viewed as positive. Asda says food overall saw inflation “fall into single-digit territory for the first time since June 2022, at 9.2 per cent.”
Households saw on average their spending rise to £819 per week in November, a boost of 9.4 per cent year-on-year. The UK is still not where it was before the pandemic, but is inching that way.
CEBR, the Centre for Economics & Business Research, still see inflation hovering above 2 per cent through the end of 2024.
The news was tempered by the continuing struggles being felt by the lowest income earners, who are seeing a deficit of £70 in disposable income per week. Asda’s report says very clearly that “take home pay is not enough to cover spending on bills and essentials.”
“Asda continues to support families during the cost-of-living crisis by keeping prices in check and launching new propositions to provide customers with more value each time they shop,” officials said.