Financial pressures in UK ease to weakest in five months
The seasonally adjusted Markit UK Household Finance Index (HFI) posted 45.0, up from 44.1 in November but still below the crucial 50.0 threshold. Nonetheless, the latest reading was higher than at any time prior to 2015.
A number of factors meant that the squeeze on financial wellbeing eased in December. First and foremost, inflation perceptions moderated further and cash available to spend fell at a relatively slow rate.
Moreover, workplace activity and income from employment both rose more quickly, while job insecurities were less prevalent than at any time since the survey began in early-2009.
Despite the overall easing in financial pressures, regional data again pointed to a broad-based decline in December.
Households in the West Midlands were the least downbeat, while those based in the North East saw the steepest drop in finances. Among the monitored job sectors, only finance/business services employees noted an outright improvement in financial wellbeing. ■