Northern Ireland

NI families have less cash to spend than rest of UK

Families in Northern Ireland have less extra money to spend than anywhere else in the UK.

That is according to the latest Asda Income Tracker, which is produced independently by the Centre for Economics and Business Research.

Spending power for families across the UK has dropped, but families in NI have been hardest hit.

The average UK family has £144 of disposable income after essential bills and spending, but in NI it is only £83.

This also represents a fall in disposable income of 7%, compared to last year's figures for Northern Ireland.

That is one of the steepest erosions in disposable income of any region in the UK.

Because families in Northern Ireland spend more as a share of income on essential items, that leaves them more exposed to the rising cost of household goods.

Charles Davis, managing economist at Cebr said: "While growth in the price of essentials is likely to fall back slowly this year, the current tough conditions in the UK labour market look set to prevail."