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ASDA Income Tracker shows increase in discretionary income for February

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As the Easter Bank Holiday approaches, families will have a spring in their step as Asda’s latest monthly Income Tracker revealed that Brits had an extra £16 a week in their pockets in February. Families across the UK now have £184 a week to spend on the things they want, rather than the items they need, which is 9.2% higher than this time last year.

As millions of people prepare to travel across the country to visit family and friends during the Easter Bank Holiday weekend, they’ll be pleasantly surprised at the pumps too. The price of fuel, which fell by 16.6% year-on-year last month, the largest annual fall in over twenty five years, means families will have plenty of change left over once they’ve filled up the tank.

The cost of food, which also saw a record drop falling by 3.3% year-on-year last month – the steepest decline in nearly 60 years – means Brits will have to leave plenty of space in their car boots for items like cut price Easter Eggs, which have fallen by 10% on average. In what is a traditionally indulgent period, Brits are also set to take advantage of falling food prices stocking up on those essential Sunday roast vegetables.

The falling cost of fuel and food meant essential item inflation fell deeper into negative territory, or “deflation” for the second time this year, dropping to -0.3%.

Commenting on the findings, President and CEO of Asda, Andy Clarke, said:

“This month’s tracker brings positive news that discretionary incomes continue to climb. It is encouraging to see that going into the bank holiday weekend the family budget has increased by £16 since last year and this is being supported by low prices on fuel, food and energy. Our customers are feeling more confident yet remain prudent by continuing to spend carefully and save where they can for a rainy day. Above all our customers are looking for reasons to be confident that their discretionary income will remain stable.”

Sam Alderson, Economist, Cebr, said:

“With consumer price inflation falling to zero in February, a spell of deflation in the UK looks more likely than not in the coming months. The large declines in the cost of food and fuel over the last year have supported a significant boost to household spending power. As long as households feel confident enough to spend this windfall, deflation should be short-lived and boost, rather than dent, economic activity.”

Source : ASDA press release

05 April 2015

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