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Weekly household spending fell by £110 during the pandemic

Joanna Faith
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Joanna Faith

UK households cut their weekly spending by an average of £109.10 during the Covid pandemic, according to figures.

Restrictions on buying certain goods and services during various lockdowns alongside a drop in income led to the reduction, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.

Higher income households saw the biggest reductions in spending during the pandemic.

Those on the lowest incomes reduced spending by 12.5 per cent whereas those at the highest end of the income spectrum cut spending by 21 per cent.

The highest income households, whose working members were more likely to work in jobs that could be carried out from home, saw spending on housing, fuel, and power rise during the pandemic, while the poorest households saw spending in this area fall.

Those in lower income households were more likely to have seen their income fall.

Some 42 per cent of those on the lowest income reported an annual decrease in income compared with 31 per cent for those on the highest incomes.

Workers on lower incomes were more likely to be furloughed and less likely to be able to work from home than those on higher incomes.

However, the proportion of people who said they would have difficulty in making ends meet fell by from 34 per cent in the year to March 2020 to 28 per cent in the year ending March 2021.

This varied across different groups, with the self-employed, those from ethnic minority groups and those under 30 all having a harder time making ends meet than the population as a whole.

Myron Jobson, personal finance campaigner at Interactive Investor, said: “The gap between the ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’ has widened because of the Covid pandemic. The pandemic has left many on the financial cliff edge, forcing some to cut back on spending. Others have been more fortunate.”