Lowest financial pressure for years, say families


Financial data company Markit has released details of a survey indicating that families are less concerned about finances than they have been in five years.


The company uses a Household Finance Index to gauge consumer confidence. The index rose to 43.1 in April, its highest level since 2009 when it began. However, any figure below 50 indicates that households remain pressured.


Lower inflation is being hailed as the reason for improved perception of financial status among householders.


Senior economist for Markit, Jack Kennedy, said: ‘Easing the strain on household budgets was the slowest rise in prices paid for goods and services since the end of 2009, while future inflation expectations similarly weakened.


‘A long-awaited return to rising real wages is likely to boost consumer spending as we move through 2014, adding another piece to the jigsaw of the UK’s economic recovery’.


Recent figures show a 1.7% rise in average wages in the three months to February, while consumer price inflation fell to 1.6% in March.