Northern Ireland households are struggling to live on the same amount of money as this time last year — despite falling prices.
New research into the spending power of families reveals stagnation in average disposable incomes when the cost of food, clothing and fuel has gone down.
Disposable incomes in Northern Ireland are on average £84-per-week — the same as last year, and 44% less than the UK average.
But the good news is that this is the first time disposable income hasn’t dropped year-on-year in the region since September 2010.
Economist John Simpson said: “We may be reaching the bottom of the recession in terms of inflation and prices and living standards,” said Mr Simpson.
Annual Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation fell for the third consecutive month in June, hitting its lowest level since November 2009 — and meaning that prices for household goods were falling.
But despite the lessening impact of inflation, families are still £11-a-week down on the disposable income they had in 2010.
And Asda president Andy Clarke said: “Our customers tell us it still feels tough out there, and with the kids (off school), mums need all the help they can get to balance the books.”