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Household spending power is in decline

Families have suffered the worst deterioration in their spending power in 12 months, driven by a sharp decline in wage growth, a report has found.

Households had £155 a week of discretionary income in April, marking two months of annual declines in a row Asda's latest income tracker found.

The recent worsening trend follows a series of improvements to people's finances which had been recorded over the last year.

Families are now £1 a week worse off than the same month last year and have £10 a week less than they did during a peak in February 2010, the report said.

Employment prospects have weakened and average pay rose to just 0.8% over the year to April, marking the lowest rise since comparable figures began in 2001.

The cost of utilities such as electricity and gas was also a strong factor behind the decline in people's budgets, with gas prices up 8.3% year-on-year, marking the highest rate since August 2012.

The report uses official figures to work out a family's spending power, which is the money they have left over after essential bills.

Belfast Telegraph