Household spending reached highest level since 2005 last year – ONS

UK household weekly spending reached its highest level since 2005 last year as the average cost of transport reached £80.80, figures show.

Household spending rose from £568.70 to an average of £572.60 a week in the financial year ending 2018, the highest figure since the financial year ending 2005 – after adjusting for inflation, according to the Office for National Statistics.

Spending on transport took up the biggest share of budgets, at the equivalent of 14% of households’ average total weekly spending.

There was little change in the level of spending on housing and household bills or on food.

Average weekly household spending was the highest in London and the South East, hitting more than £650, while spending in the North East was the lowest at around £200 less.

Households headed up by those aged 50 to 74 years spent almost a quarter of their housing spending on alterations and improvements, while those headed up by under 30s and those in Northern Ireland spent the most on takeaway meals eaten at home at £7.80 and £8.60 respectively.

The figures show households are spending less on alcohol outside the home, dropping from an average £10.90 10 years ago to £8 last year after adjusting for inflation.

Households in London spent the most on alcoholic drinks away from home, spending an average of £9.30 a week.

The robust figures reflect a strengthening labour market and resilient consumer confidence despite Brexit uncertainty.

However, the post-referendum spike in inflation meant that wages were falling in real terms for much of the period concerned.