Disposable income remained stable last month, the first time it has not fallen in nearly two years.
The average UK family had £150 weekly disposable income in June, according to the Asda Income Tracker. The grocer said that the slight improvement was driven by easing inflation on family budgets with food, clothing and transport inflation all falling over the month.
Despite the stabilisation, disposable income was still down on two years ago.
Asda president and chief executive Andy Clarke said: “Families are no better off than a year ago, and still £7 a week worse off over two years. Our customers tell us it still feels tough out there, and with the kids starting to break up for the summer holidays mums are going to need all the help they can get to balance the books.”
The Income Tracker revealed that the regional disparity has widened with the North of England and Northern Ireland feeling more strain. The discretionary income of the average Londoner is 226% higher of families in the Northeast and 327% more than in Northern Ireland.
Families in the Southwest saw the greatest annual increase to spending power, with discretionary income rising by 1% in the three months to June. However, many other regions continued to face annually declining income over the period. Discretionary income dropped 2.7% in Yorkshire and the Humber.
CEBR head of macroeconomics Charles Davis said that although the Asda Income Tracker was good news for UK families, indicators such as unemployment figures suggest that tough times are ahreasd.
He said: “With public sector cutbacks continuing to bite and businesses lacking the confidence to create new jobs, unemployment looks set to remain elevated.”