Falling Prices Leave Brits with More Cash in Their Pockets this Christmas

December 22, 2014

The average British family has an extra £11 in their pockets in the week before Christmas this year than was the case 12 months ago – at least that’s according to figures compiled by the supermarket giant Asda – which claims falling prices on an array of products and services has helped ease some of the pressure on household budgets this Christmas.

The falling price of petrol has apparently provided the most financial leeway in recent months, with the cost of filling up our vehicles having fallen by 6 per cent on average compared with the same time last year. Meanwhile, the cost of jetting off for some winter sun is said to have fallen by as much as 12 per cent on the same comparative basis.

Asda’s data also suggests that shoppers have been able to fill up their festive shopping baskets for less this year, with the price of a typical food shop down 1.7 per cent and the cost of sticking up on alcoholic drinks down 1 per cent compared with 12 months ago.

Of course, there are still millions of people around the country who are struggling to cope with a range of financial pressures or to fend off creditors looking for debt repayments. But at least some broader economic trends are beginning to tilt in the favour of consumers, with inflation at a 12-year low of 1 per cent and wages growing on average by 1.6 per cent across the country.

“The cost of living remains a concern across households in the UK, however we’re now officially out of recession and people are seeing more money in their pockets now than they have since 2009,” said Asda’s president and chief executive Andy Clarke in a statement.

“The falling cost of essential items such as fuel and food has brightened the economic environment facing UK households in recent months and freed up income for families to enjoy over the holiday season,” added Sam Alderson, an economist with the Centre for Economics and Business Research.

“With average weekly earnings beginning to strengthen and inflation likely to fall further in coming months, households look set to enjoy further boosts to spending power in the New Year,” he said.

However much you might be feeling the financial squeeze this year, it is always worth looking for bargains in pursuit of a good time. You can find plenty of inspiration here from our list of ‘Free and Cheap Christmas Events for Children and Families in Scotland 2014’.

John Baird

Insolvency Adviser

Tel: 0800 063 9250

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