When it comes to living standards, geography matters

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A slowdown in economic growth and the recent return of the pay squeeze has focused attention once again on the extent to which absolute living standard improvements have stalled across UK households since the financial crisis of 2008. But the distribution of gains and losses matters too – especially in the context of a vote … Continued

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Time for a re-rewind on debt?

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Debt & Savings

Just like Craig David, debt made something of a comeback in 2016. Having peaked at 160 per cent on the eve of the 2008 financial crisis, household debt as a share of income fell to 140 per cent by the end of 2015. Successive increases in the first three quarters of 2016 took the ratio … Continued

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2016 was a good year for living standards – but families didn’t splash out

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Wages & Income

Today’s annual Family Spending release contains the usual wealth of useful information on household spending patterns. It shows that overall spending was largely unchanged in 2015-16 (at £529 a week) relative to the previous year, once inflation is accounted for. Indeed, having fallen slightly from 2006 and then increased gently after 2012, average household spending is little … Continued

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Resolving to fill the housing ‘aspiration gap’

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Housing

New Year look-aheads are always a risky endeavour, and the level of uncertainty facing the UK economy at the start of 2017 means that the danger of looking foolish is even more elevated this time around. But we can be sure of one thing at least: our obsession with housing will show no sign of … Continued

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