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Families have more disposable cash

Falling living costs made UK families £7 per week better off in May 2009, compared to the same month a year earlier, according to Asda.

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

Families have more disposable cash

The retailer says that lower mortgage payments and cheaper utilities mean have increased discretionary income by 4.8 per cent to 164 per week.

“News that consumers are benef

iting from cuts in mortgage payments is certainly reassuring and although we're better off year by year, this by no means signals the end of difficult times for our customers. Many... are stillare still worried about the uncertainties surrounding job security as there is no real sign of an upturn in the labour market,” says Asda president and chief executive Andy Bond. “Spending power is set to rise further in the coming months as inflation continues to fall. That's why it is our job as retailers to try and stimulate customer spending by keeping prices low.”

CEBR (Centre for Economics and Business Research) economist Chrles Davis says, “In May the Asda income tracker showed the largest year-on-year rise since April 2008 as the effect of the Bank of England's quantitative easing and falling inflation came through. Spening power has increased relative to a year earlier in both April and May. However, this is not necessarily translating into increased spending on the high street - as shown by the 0.6 per cent month-on-month falls in retail sales in May. This is due to increased levels of precautionary saving as consumer debt levels remain high, unemployment rises and households see an uncertain economic climate ahead.”

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