The most recent data from Asda’s Income Tracker has shown that, for the first time in two years, all regions across the UK experienced positive annual growth in disposable income during the final quarter (Q4) of 2023.
After covering bills and essential expenses, the average UK family had a disposable income of £224 ($284.74) per week in Q4.
This marked the highest amount since the beginning of 2022, driven by robust wage growth and a gradual easing of inflation.
Regional variations in disposable income
While the positive trend is encouraging, disposable income still falls short of pre-cost-of-living crisis levels. Compared to the peak of £246 in Q1 2021, UK-wide discretionary income has decreased by 9.1%.
London, England’s capital, remains the region with the highest disposable income, showing a 10.1% increase to £301 per week in Q4 2023.
The East of England and Scotland also surpassed the UK average, recording disposable incomes of £236 and £228 per week, respectively.
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In contrast, Wales saw the weakest increase in disposable income, primarily due to subdued earnings growth.
The North East witnessed the strongest growth at 11.3%, yet it still has the second lowest income value at £146 per week.
Northern Ireland stands out with a notably lower spending power at just £103 per week, lagging behind the UK average.
This discrepancy is attributed to weaker earnings growth and the region’s higher exposure to inflationary pressures, keeping disposable income in Northern Ireland well below its precrisis peak.
Asda’s initiatives amidst the cost-of-living crisis
As families navigate the challenges of the cost-of-living crisis, Asda has continued its efforts to support them. The UK supermarket has maintained its focus on affordability by keeping prices in check.
Recently, Asda made headlines by becoming the first supermarket to price match both Aldi and Lidl (budget supermarkets) on 287 comparable grocery products, reducing prices by an average of 17%. This move is aimed at providing consumers with better value during challenging economic times.
The Leeds-headquartered retailer has also launched new propositions to enhance the shopping experience.
For example, those over 60 years old dining in Asda’s cafés before the end of February can take advantage of its ‘winter warmer’ deal, offering a bowl of soup, a roll, and unlimited tea and coffee for just £1.
The Asda Income Tracker, compiled independently by the Centre for Economics and Business Research, serves as a reliable measurement of disposable income.
It reflects the amount families have at their disposal after settling taxes and essential bills, offering valuable insights into the economic landscape of the country.