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Household spending falls for first time in 10 years

UK households spent less on clothing, transport and mortgages last year than in 2008 according to new figures released today by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Family Spending, the annual report from ONS on household expenditure in the UK, found that in 2009 the average weekly household spend was £455.00,compared with £471.00 in 2008. It is the first drop within the last ten years.

Spending was highest on transport at £58.40 per week though this fell by 8% on the previous year, with half (£29.30) going towards running costs.

Average expenditure levels in each of the next two top categories were very similar. Recreation and Culture fell slightly to £57.90 in 2009 from £60.10 in 2008, despite higher spending on items such as leisure classes, sports admissions, cinemas, theatres and concerts. Expenditure on housing, fuel and power increased to £57.30 in 2009 from £53.00 in 2008.

Expenditure on Clothing and Footwear was £20.90 per week, slightly lower than the previous year and continuing the long-term fall in this category to the lowest figures recorded under current methods. Similarly, expenditure on Household Goods and Services such as furniture and appliances also hit a long-term low, falling from £30.10 in 2008 to £27.90 in 2009.

Of the £52.20 average weekly spend on food and non-alcoholic drink, almost three-quarters (72 per cent, £37.70 per week) was purchased from large supermarket chains, a similar proportion to the previous year.

Spending on package holidays fell from £14.70 per week in 2008 to £13.20 in 2009 with £12.30 spent on package holidays abroad, £1.30 less than the previous year.

Giles Horsfield, ONS statistician and editor of the report said, “This is the first annual decline in average UK household spend since the current method of recording was introduced in 2001-02, with higher expenditure on some housing related costs such as rent, electricity and gas offset by lower spending on mortgages”.

“Lower spending on diesel and fuel contributed to lower expenditure on transport, but reductions were also seen on vehicle purchases and public transport”.

“It’s interesting to note that expenditure fell again on clothing which took it to a record low under current methods, for the third year in a row. Spending also fell on household goods and package holidays, but held up on sports admissions, cinema, theatre and concerts”.

Source : The Retail Bulletin

30 November 2010
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