From the TUC

Surprise, surprise – we don’t spend so much when there’s a living standards crisis

08 Apr 2015, by in Economics

Really, this is one of those “one chart says it all” stories:

Expenditure 1

Here at the TUC we started worrying about the living standards crisis years ago – and there’s a long way to go before we can say it’s over. But the crisis isn’t just about wages, pensions and other incomes, it’s also about how much ordinary families can spend. And today’s Economic Review from the Office for National Statistics has a useful section on what has happened to household consumption per person since the start of the recession and comparing it with the Thatcher and Major recessions. To quote the Review,

Compared with previous economic contractions, the fall in household spending per head since 2008 was notably deeper and the recovery of spending has been markedly slower.

You can see that although it has gradually been recovering since mid-2011 spending is still below the pre-recession level. There’s no need to say much more about this – just remember that quote and the chart above the next time you hear one of those “Springtime for Britain” routines from the government’s cheerleaders.