UK household incomes slumped for an unprecedented fourth quarter as the cost-of-living crisis continues to eat into budgets.
The 0.2pc fall in disposable incomes in the first three months of this year marks the longest run of declines since records began in 1955.
It also leaves incomes 1.3pc lower than a year ago – even before April’s jump in energy bills and taxes kicked in.
The figures highlight the continued pressure on household finances amid soaring inflation fuelled by Russia’s war in Ukraine, with prices rising for everything from food and fuel to clothing.
The ONS confirmed a 0.8pc growth in GDP in the first quarter. However, the economy is expected to contract in the second quarter as consumers begin to cut spending.
5 things to start your day
1) Oligarchs ‘must be prosecuted’ over dirty money in London MPs warns Government’s inaction brands UK a ‘safe haven for corrupt wealth’
2) Britain suffering faster and steeper downturn than Europe, warns Andrew Bailey Bank of England Governor says the country is suffering ‘very large national real income shock’
3) Heinz baked beans removed from Tesco shelves in row over ‘unjustifiable’ price rise Supermarket points shoppers to rival products
4) Criminals using ‘deepfakes’ to apply for home working jobs FBI warns fraudsters are ‘voice spoofing’ in attempts to steal corporate information
5) Britain risks trade war as steel tariffs extended Steel tariffs extended by two years in probable breach of trade rules
What happened overnight
Tokyo shares opened lower this morning after US stocks ended flat, with investors searching for new trading cues.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 index fell 0.2pcat the open, while the broader Topix index lost 0.3pc.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 0.3pc while the broad-based S&P 500 slipped 0.1pc. The tech-rich Nasdaq index edged down less than 0.1pc.
Global markets were weighed down after US Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell spoke at an ECB Forum panel.
Coming up today
- Corporate: Bunzl (trading statement)
- Economics: GDP (UK), Nationwide house price index (UK), unemployment rate (EU), jobless claims (US), personal income (US), Chicago PMI (US)