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Families in Northern Ireland 'have least spare cash after paying for essentials'

Published 26/04/2016

A UK-wide survey found Northern Ireland families have the least cash left after essentials are covered
A UK-wide survey found Northern Ireland families have the least cash left after essentials are covered

Northern Ireland families have the least cash left over once essentials are paid for, a UK-wide survey said.

Although the discretionary spending power of the average family has reached £100 per week for Northern Ireland, the pace in growth has slowed, according to an Income Tracker report.

The study was carried out for supermarket Asda.

Sam Alderson, an economist at CEBR, said: "While increases in inflation in recent months have weighed on growth rates, households across the country continued to benefit from robust annual increases in spending power in March.

"While Assembly elections and the upcoming referendum on EU membership provide an uncertain background for consumers, the low levels of essential item inflation and growing discretionary incomes should continue to provide support to both consumer spending and overall economic growth."

The study said Northern Ireland remains the worst performing region in the UK and lags far behind the UK average of £198 per week.

The pace of growth has slowed to 7% compared with 15% in the same period last year.

The gap between Northern Ireland and other regions of the UK remains significant, with the closest being the North East where households have £129 of disposable weekly income, once taxes and bills have been paid.

Northern Ireland also lags far behind the UK average of £198 per week, and the top performing region - London - where average household discretionary income is £266 per week.

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