More cash to splash for shoppers

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Shoppers have more money in their pocket than at any time in the last seven years, thanks to a combination of plunging air fares and a drop in the price of food and drink, according to Asda’s latest monthly Income Tracker.

Consumers had an extra £17 a week in their pockets in April this year​, meaning that ​families across the UK now have £187 a week to spend on the things they want, rather than the items they need, which is ​​over 10​ per cent​ higher than this time last year.​

The £187 extra a week is the highest level of discretionary spending since Asda started its Income Tracker in 2008. In February the figure hit £184 a week and rose to £185 per week in March.

The indications are this level is likely to rise in the coming months as food prices continue to fall, employment rises and people become more confident that they can afford to spend rather than save for a rainy day.

Leeds-based supermarket Asda’s latest Income Tracker revealed that airfares were 5.3​ per cent​ lower in April than they were a year ago while the typical basket of food and non-alcoholic drink was 2.8 per cent cheaper.

Home electricity, gas and fuel also saw a 2.8 per cent price reduction while 386,000 more people were in employment than a year ago.

Asda said that holidaymakers can afford to splash the cash, with lower air fares and a strong pound providing a strong incentive to travel.

Its data showed that holidaymakers who are travelling to the Continent this year are almost €50 (£35) better off than this time last year.

The supermarket said falling prices of essentials such as food, gas and electricity have been key factors in the sharp fall in inflation seen since the middle of 2014.