Family spending decreased for the first time in ten years in 2009 due to the pressures of the recession, a report published by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) has revealed.

Household expenditure last year in the UK averaged at £455 per week, compared with £471 in 2008.

Weekly spending on clothing and footwear fell to £20.90 per week, whereas expenditure on household goods and services such as furniture and appliances hit a long-term low of £30.10 from £53  two years ago.

Giles Horsfeld, editor of the report and ONS statistician, commented: “This is the first annual decline in average UK household spend since the current method of recording was introduced in 2001-02.

“It’s interesting to note that expenditure fell again on clothing which took it to a record low under current methods, for the third year in a row”.

Recent improvements in overall retail spending suggests that household spending figures will be healthier in 2010, but continuing worries over the economy put families finances under pressure.

GfK NOP’s latest monthly report found that consume confidence fell in November to a -21 index score, with worries over personal finances for the next 12 months having the biggest impact.

Nick Moon, MD of GfK NOP Social Research, said “There would need to be a further drop next month before we could definitely say things are getting worse, and that people really are concerned about the impact of the cuts in the Comprehensive Spending Review.

“What is more worrying in this month’s figures is that the worst-performing elements of the index are those that look to the future, with a five point fall in confidence for people’s personal financial situation over the next 12 months.

“Consumer confidence appears to be finely balanced – we have seen the index see-saw between rises and falls every month since July. December’s findings could therefore indicate what kind of 2011 the country can expect to see”.

Please note the views expressed in this blog are the views of the author, Andre Brown and do not represent the view of Locayta, its employees or its shareholders. For more information about Locayta, visit www.locayta.com