The average British family has no more discretionary income now than it did a year ago.
Asda, which tracks income, says that discretionary income in UK households in January was only 0.1% higher – at £164 a week – than in January 2009.
Asda president and chief executive Andy Bond said: “This latest economic snapshot reflects what our customers already know: that 2010 is shaping up to be a tough year.
“Despite the official end of the recession, our customers are telling us they’re still worried about job security and balancing the family finances.”
At the Centre for Economics and Business Research, which compiles the tracking report for Asda, economist Charles Davis commented: “With earnings growth across the year set to remain historically low, inflation above target and possible tax rises to come, the outlook for the UK consumer remains cautious.”