Northern Ireland reports record growth in spending power

  • Annual growth in consumer spending power rose faster in Northern Ireland than elsewhere in the UK this year, but discretionary income is still lagging behind.

    New figures released by Asda in its latest Income Tracker report show that customers in Northern Ireland have experienced a sharp rise in spending power in the first three months of 2019, up 7.4% over the previous year's figure. It estimated that the average household now has £114 per week of discretionary income to spend after taking tax and bills out of their income.

    Spending power rose across the UK, with some economists attributing the increase to low inflation rates and a drop in unemployment. That's not the whole story, however, as the rate of employment growth actually slowed in Northern Ireland compared to the previous year.

    Northern Ireland is also still by far the poorest region of the UK when it comes to spending power, with the £114 per week of discretionary income that the average household in Northern Ireland has to spend being far behind the UK average of £213.

    CEBR Managing Economist Kay Neufeld commented on the report, saying: "The latest Asda Income Tracker report shows Northern Ireland is enjoying a ‘catch-up moment' as it continues to narrow the gap in family spending power between itself and the rest of the UK – including a decrease of 20 per cent in the difference in discretionary income between it and the region it sits closest to in the regional league table over the past two years."

    Source: Irish News

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