Britain: spending money again
Average household spending increased to £517.30 a week in 2013, an increase of £16.30 from 2012.
This figure has been bolstered by people buying tellies and cars and doing things like holidays and getting fancy dan theatre tickets. Wooh! Up YOURS austerity.
However the ONS said there was a time-lag between changes in pay and consumption, meaning that after inflation, families are still spending less than the pre-shit/fan interface of £539.80 back in 2006.
Strong consumer spending - you only just have to look at people going crackers on Black Friday for a TV made by an in-car radio manufacturer to acknowledge that - drove UK growth in the third quarter, as business investment contracted against an increasingly uncertain global backdrop.
While spending has slumped overall since the giddy days of 2006, it's starting to rebound slightly, with disposable household income, after inflation, growing a teeny bit from £612 to £614 a week last year, down from the 2008 peak of £676.
The ONS report said: “The economy has witnessed signs of economic recovery, despite consumers remaining price conscious. There is evidence that consumer confidence is increasing slowly, increases in household expenditure are largely focused on items such as housing. However, the results have also seen an increase in expenditure on big ticket items, such as new cars in 2013, indicating that pent-up demand is being realised.”
“Expenditure on items such as TV, video, computers and recreational activities has held up over time, showing the high priority placed on these goods and services by many households, regardless of economic circumstances,” the report said. Families spent an average of £5.10 a week on such items last year.
However, it's not all good news, as spending on drink, drugs and tobacco dropped to record lows, down £1.30 in a year to £12 a week, compared with £18.20 a week a decade previously. People dunno how to party these days, that's their problem.
And get your Class War t-shirts on, as the divide between rich and poor is ever clearer, with the lowest-earning 10% of households spending an average of £189.80 a week. This compared with an average of £1,119.50 a week for the 10% of highest-earning households.