UK households spent less last year

Average spending by UK households fell for the first time in almost ten years in 2009.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) annual Family Spending report registered that the average amount spent by households last year was £455, down from £471 two years ago.

This fall, which coincides with the economic downturn, is the first time a decline has been registered since the current system of measuring was introduced in 2001-02.

Giles Horsfield, an ONS statistician who edited the report, said higher housing related costs such as rent, gas and electricity had been offset by lower spending on mortgages.

He said: "It's interesting to note that expenditure fell again on clothing which took it to a record low under current methods, for the third year in a row.

"Spending also fell on household goods and package holidays, but held up on sports admissions, cinema, theatre and concerts."

The ONS compiles the results from detailed spending diaries updated by 6,000 households across the UK.

The research showed average spending on transport was £58.40 in 2009, a fall of 8% on the previous year.

Spending on recreation and culture also fell slightly to £57.90 from £60.10 in spite of higher spending on items such as leisure classes, sports admissions, cinemas, theatres and concerts.

Housing, fuel and power spending increased to £57.30 from £53.00 in 2008.

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