Recession hits spending on clothes and shoes Families cut clothing budgets in 2008

15 January 2010

UK consumers cut their spending on clothes and shoes when the financial crisis struck in 2008, according to official figures.

Family Spending, the annual report from the Office for National Statistics on household expenditure in the UK, found people spent less on clothes and footwear in 2008 than at any time since 2001-02.

This category of expenditure reached an all-time high of £23.90 a week in 2004-05, but fell to a record low of £21.60 a week in 2008.

Food shopping, energy and petrol

However, most categories of spending rose in 2008. Expenditure on food and non-alcoholic drinks increased to an average of £50.70 a week.

Spending on electricity, gas and other fuels also rose, and overall household expenditure was up from an average of £459.20 a week in 2007 to £471.00 in 2008. 

Transport remains the largest single expenditure category for households in the UK, with the average weekly spend up from £61.70 a week in 2007 to £63.40 in 2008. The ONS says higher petrol, diesel and motor oil prices had an impact on household spending in this area.

Cheaper petrol and energy

If your finances have felt stretched thanks to the recession, make sure you check out our money saving guides. Ways to save on motoring could help you keep on top of your car costs, while Ways to save on heating contains practical advice on reducing gas and electricity bills.

Switching your energy supplier through Which? Switch could also save you hundreds of pounds this year. Meanwhile, the Which? guide to recession-proofing your finances contains more tips for keeping extra cash in your pocket.

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