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Households spent an average of £474 per week in 2010

Spending was highest on transport costs at £64.90 per week, up £6.50 from the previous year, an increase of 11 per cent. Over half of all transport spending (£33.30) was on running costs, which rose by £4.00 (an increase of 14 per cent). Most of the increase in running costs was due to spending on fuel, as petrol, diesel and other motor oils, which increased by £2.40.  There was a growth in spending on public transport too, as seen in the rise of £2.50 for transport services.

Spending on housing, fuel and power category increased to £60.40 in 2010 from £57.30 in 2009, making this the second highest category. This was mainly due to increases in gross rent, which rose by £4.50 in 2010.

Spending in the third highest category, recreation and culture, remained similar to 2009 at £58.10 per week.

This encompasses a wide variety of expenses, including package holidays at £12.60 per week and TV, video and satellite subscriptions at £6.00 per week, which slightly exceeded spending on the more traditional newspapers, books and stationery at £5.90 per week. A weekly average of £4.30 was spent on pets and pet food.

Spending on household goods and services increased by £3.50 to £31.40, which was mainly due to an increase of £2.20 for furniture. Clothing and footwear bounced back from a three year downward trend, increasing by £2.50 to reach an average weekly expenditure of £23.40. Clothing accounted for £1.60 of this increase, rising to £18.60. Spending on men’s outer garments grew by 80p to £4.80, while spending on women’s outer garments increased by 50p to stay much higher than for men’s at £8.40 per week. Footwear also increased by 80p in 2010: men’s footwear rising by 40p and women’s rising by 30p to reach £1.40 and £2.40 respectively. Of the £53.20 average weekly spend on food and non-alcoholic drinks, £7.10 was spent on fresh fruit and vegetables; £3.10 on fruit and £4.00 on vegetables.

Overall, average household expenditure in the UK was £466.50 per week for the years 2008–10 combined. There were five regions in which expenditure over this period was higher than the UK average: expenditure was highest in London (£577.80), followed by the South East (£523.20 per week), the East (£493.40), the South West (£482.60) and Northern Ireland (£482.80). Spending was lowest among households in the North East (£372.70), Wales (£394.00), and Yorkshire and the Humber (£405.50). London households’ high spending of £577.80 was partly due to the housing, fuel and power category, £87.00 per week, compared with the UK national average of £56.90 per week.

Households in rural areas had higher overall expenditure (£506.30 per week) than those in urban areas (£454.60 per week). This was reflected in expenditure on transport, where spending was highest (£76.00 in rural areas and £58.30 in urban areas), and recreation and culture (£68.00 in rural areas and £55.80 in urban areas). However, expenditure on the housing, fuel and power category was higher in urban areas (£58.00 per week) than in rural areas (£54.50 per week).

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