Financial News

  • 12 December 2013, 13:03

Spending Squeeze: Household Priorities Shift

Household spending on housing (excluding mortgages), fuel and power has surpassed transport for the first time in recent years, figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show.

We are cutting back most on transport, only spending 64.10 a week in 2012, compared with 67.20 the previous year.

Giles Horsfield, Editor of the Family Spending report, said: "What we can see are some very complex trends on what people chose to spend their money on, and what people feel they have to spend their money on.

"Households have found ways of using less fuel, selecting more fuel efficient cars and cutting out non-essential journeys.

"On some types of discretionary spending, households are spending less but other things buck the trend - like clothing and footwear."

On average we spend 68 a week, including 10.80 on electricity and 10.40 on gas, the ONS revealed in its annual report on the cost of living and food expenditure.

In total, households only spent about a pound more on electricity, gas and other fuels to power homes in 2012 than in 2011, despite growing concern that the 'Big Six' energy companies are hiking prices at inflation-busting rates.

However, the proportion of households renting has risen in recent years, from 29% about a decade ago, to 34% in 2012.

The rise in renting defies the general trend as most types of spending stayed relatively stable or decreased slightly over the period, according to the figures.

The total average household spend was 489a week in 2012, compared with the pre-recession average spend of 529 a week in 2006.

We are also spending significantly more on clothing and footwear, now about 23.40 a week, compared with 21.90 a year earlier.

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