Income tracker, spending boost by UK consumers hints to more positive signs for retailers

Produce Business report

According to the latest Income Tracker from retailer Asda, consumers in the UK saw an increase in spending power over the four weeks ending in 2023, a positive sign heading through the beginning of the new year.

In fact, the latest figures from December are the best they’ve been since September 2021, when the COVID-19 pandemic and soaring inflation was still heavily impacting spending and income. From April 2023 on, however, shoppers experienced consistent gains over the past eight months.

The news was tempered by the continuing struggles being felt by the lowest income earners, who are seeing a deficit of £70 in disposable income per week. Asda’s report says very clearly that “take home pay is not enough to cover spending on bills and essentials.” But Asda is trying to do its part with promotions and meal deals in stores.

“Asda continues to support families during the cost-of-living crisis by keeping prices in check and launching new propositions to provide customers with more value each time they shop,” officials said.

Still, with inflation slowing again and high-income earners driving spending, the news for supermarkets and convenience stores can only be viewed as positive. Asda says food overall saw inflation “fall into single-digit territory for the first time since June 2022, at 9.2%.”

Households saw on average their spending rise to £819 per week in November, a boost of 9.4% year-on-year. The UK is still not where it was before the pandemic, but is inching that way.

CEBR, the Centre for Economics & Business Research, still see inflation hovering above 2% through the end of 2024.



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