Average weekly household spending increased in 2013

The average weekly household expenditure in 2013 was £517.30, figures from the Office of National Statistics have shown.

After adjusting for inflation, this was an increase from the £501 which UK households spent on average each week in 2012.

However, average weekly spending was still down from 2006‘s figure of £539.80.

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The figures also showed that net spending on housing, fuel and power increased again to £74.40, with this category accounting for the biggest area of expenditure since 2011.

In its report, the ONS said: “The trend observed in household spending after 2008 is broadly consistent with the wider economic context.

“Between 2008 quarter one and 2009 quarter two, gross domestic product fell by 6 per cent, marking the deepest economic downturn since ONS records began in 1948.

“There has been an overall reduction in weekly spending from 2001/2 to 2013 in real terms, but a slight (not statistically significant) increase between 2012 and 2013.

“GDP is estimated to have increased by 1.7 per cent in 2013, compared with 2012, showing signs of the economic recovery building momentum.”

However, the ONS report pointed out the picture was extremely complex, and it cannot be said people have not spent money on “discretionary” items.

For example, spending on restaurants and hotels gradually decreased to £40.40 in 2013, from £48.50 in 2001/2.

But overall spending on recreation and culture increased between 2001/2 and 2013, from £53.80 to £63.90 on average a week.

Households in the South East and London, which spent £585.40 and £579.60 respectively, had the highest weekly expenditures in the UK. The lowest was in the North East, where £424.60 was spent each week.

The lowest earning 10 per cent of households spent an average of £189.80 a week while the highest earning 10 per cent of households spent a weekly average of £1,119.50.

Adviser view

Paul Hill, a director of East Sussex-based Complete Financial Planning, said: “I don’t think anyone would disagree with the fact that prices are going up. But from what I have seen and the people I speak to, I have not seen people getting rises in their wages that are going to match that increase.”