The average UK household had £158 a week of discretionary income in December 2013, up £2 a week year-on-year, Asda data has shown.
However, this figure remains well below the £165 all-time high seen in January 2010, according to the Asda Income Tracker.
Falling unemployment, which is at its lowest rate in four and a half years, and a slowing food inflation rate at 1.9% helped boost family finances in December.
However, the monitor showed stagnating wage growth, at 0.9%, continues to hold back further improvements in spending power despite Government figures released today which report the consumers outside Britain’s richest 10% experienced a 2.5% increase in take-home pay.
The Asda study showed a positive outlook across much of the UK with all but two regions – the South West and North East – seeing an increase in spending power year on year.
The East Midlands saw the fastest growth of anywhere in the UK year on year, with spending power up 3.6%. Wales, the East, South East and Scotland also saw significant increases.
Asda chief executive Andy Clarke said: “Average family spending power has continued to improve for the third consecutive month according to our Income Tracker. I take this as a positive sign that a macro economic recovery is underway although, as a note of caution, the effects have yet to be felt in real terms by all families across the UK.
“Some regions are beginning to see the benefits of a stronger job market coupled with lower inflation. But there are still pockets of the country where this hasn’t filtered through. We’re on the right track with slow but steady economic stabilisation, however until everyone feels this equally we’re not out of the woods.”