As an otherwise highly eventful financial year draws towards a close, the picture for the UK’s price, wage and debt statistics remains largely subdued, according to the April 2019 Money Statistics, produced by The Money Charity.
Despite dramatic events elsewhere, the UK’s financial year looked likely to be ending on a relatively subdued note. The UK’s total household debt rose by 3% (The Money Statistics April 2019 Full Report, P5.) for the year to the end of February 2019, while average credit card debt per household stood at £2,649 (P3.) compared to £2,638 in January, having also been flat in the previous three months. The inflation rate for the year to March 2019 was 1.9% (P15.) while average real wages in February 2019 were 5.9% (P15.) below their peak in February 2008. According to HM Land Registry, house prices rose by only 0.3% (P9.) in the year to February, while average private rents increased by 1.2% (P10.) in the year to March 2019.
On a positive note though, the Government ran a net surplus of £11.33 billion (P15.) in the three months to February, showing the extent to which public finances have improved as a result of increasing tax returns and restrained government spending.
However, the coming months may well bring more change with a raft of price and wage adjustments in the new financial year. Costs such as Council Tax, the TV Licence, water bills, stamps, prescriptions, Car Tax and mobile phone bills are all going up, with the increase in the Ofgem energy price cap expected to be followed by matching rises in energy prices.
Meanwhile, income is similarly expected to change for most, with the tax-free personal allowance increasing, and the National Minimum Wage rising by almost 5% to £8.21 per hour. State Pensions will also rise, alongside the minimum employee pension deduction for those in auto-enrolled pension schemes. At the same time, most benefits remain frozen, leading to a cut in real terms after adjusting for price inflation.
Michelle Highman, Chief Executive of The Money Charity says:
“For those looking to get to grips with their money, the end of one financial year and start of another can be a particularly challenging time. Even for the most financially capable, wrapping our heads around the multitude of forthcoming changes, including increases, decreases and frozen rates, can be unsettling at best.
“It’s no bad thing then that the UK’s financial environment has been relatively subdued so far this year. The recent rapid growth of debt has eased off, and slower increases are being seen in the vital costs of life. As people continue to strive to get on top of their money, this can only be welcomed.”
Other striking numbers from the April Money Statistics:
- On average, a UK household spends £4.05 a day on water, electricity and gas. (P13.)
- The population of the UK grew by an estimated 1,166 people a day between 2017 and 2018. (P4.)
- It costs an average of £22.95 per day for a couple to raise a child from birth to the age of 18. For a lone parent family, the cost of raising a child comes to £27.90 per day. (P13.)
Get the full picture and many more fascinating facts about money in the UK in our monthly Money Statistics.
Notes to Editors
- The Money Charity is the UK’s financial capability charity. We believe that being on top of your money means you are more in control of your life, your finances and your debts, reducing stress and hardship, and that being on top of your money increases your wellbeing, helps you achieve your goals and live a happier more positive life as a result. Our vision is for everyone to be on top of their money as a part of everyday life. We empower people across the UK to build the skills, knowledge, attitudes and behaviours, to make the most of their money throughout their lives. Find out more at https://themoneycharity.org.uk/
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