Economic well-being

Economic Well-being, Quarter 1 Jan to Mar 2015

  • In Q1 2015, gross domestic product (GDP) per head increased 0.2% compared to Q4 2014 but remains 0.6% below pre-economic downturn levels. This was a slightly slower growth rate than the 0.4% quarterly increase seen in GDP.
  • Net national disposable income (NNDI) per head, which represents the income available to UK residents, increased 1.6% compared to Q4 2014, but remains 3.8% below pre-economic downturn levels.
  • In Q1 2015, real household disposable income (RHDI) per head (excluding non-profit institutions serving households) was unchanged (0.0%) compared to Q4 2014 and increased 3.7% compared to the same quarter a year ago (Q1 2014). Overall, it remains broadly in line with the level of household income seen since 2012.
  • In the financial year ending 2014, median income (the income of the middle household if all households are ranked from the lowest income to the highest) was £24,500 – 3.4% higher than in 2012/13. This is a reversal of the downward trend seen since the finanical year ending 2008.
  • In Q1 2015, household spending per head grew 0.8% compared to the previous quarter – continuing the general upward trend that started in Q3 2011.

Consumer trends

Consumer Trends, Q3 2013: ONS

  • In Q3 2013, household spending (adjusted for inflation) grew by 0.8% (£1.9 billion). All areas showed positive growth with the exception of ‘Housing’ and ‘Health’.
  • Household spending when compared with the same quarter a year ago has risen in every quarter since Q1 2012 and was 2.5% higher in Q3 2013. This is the highest comparable growth since Q1 2008.
  • Household spending still remains 1.5% below the peak of spending (in volume terms) in Q4 2007.
  • The current price value of household spending, which includes inflation, shows how much UK households spent. In Q3 2013 current price spending increased by 1.7% compared with Q2 2013, continuing the trend of positive growth which has continued since Q3 2009. Current price spending is now 18.2% higher than Q4 2007.
  • In current price terms, the value of UK household spending per head was £4,117, an increase of 1.5% on the quarter.

Family spending

Living Costs and Food Survey, 2012

  • UK households spent an average of £489 a week in 2012.
  • The largest expenditure categories were housing (excluding mortgages), fuel and power, transport, and recreation and culture.
  • There were four regions in which expenditure over the period 2010-2012 was higher than the UK average: London, the South East, the East and the South West.
  • Average spending has decreased between 2006 and 2012 once the figures have been adjusted to allow for changes in prices (inflation).
  • Households in London spend the most, while those in the North East spend the least.
  • Expenditure in rural areas is higher than in urban areas.

Consumer trends

Consumer trends, Q2 2013: ONS

  • In Q2 2013, household spending (adjusted for inflation) grew by 0.3% (£661m). The main positive contributor to growth was increased household spending on ‘Transport’.
  • Household spending has increased by 0.3% but still remains 2.8% below the peak of spending (in volume terms) in Q4 2007. Households purchased 4.0% more in volume terms this quarter compared with the recent low of Q2 2009.
  • The current price value of household spending, which includes inflation, shows how much UK households spent. In Q2 2013 current price spending increased by 0.9% compared with Q1, continuing the trend of positive growth which has continued since Q3 2009. Current price spending is now 15.1% higher than Q4 2007. Households current price spending was 19.1% higher in Q2 2013 than the recent low of Q2 2009.
  • The value of UK household spending per head, in current price terms, was £4,037, an increase of 0.7% on the quarter and 10.3% when compared with Q1 2008, the quarter prior to the first fall in expenditure, including inflation, since 1997.