Financial pressures on household in UK ease
The HFI is compiled each month by Markit, using data collected by Ipsos MORI.
The financial strain on UK households eased in June, as shown by the seasonally adjusted Household Finance Index (HFI) rising from 42.3 in May to 44.9. Though still below the crucial 50.0 mark, the latest figure was above the average recorded so far this year (44.4).
Moreover, it pointed to a rebound in financial perceptions since May, when the index slipped to a 22-month low.
Underlying data highlighted a recovery in financial wellbeing for private sector workers in particular. The rate of contraction slowed from the strongest in around a year-and-a-half to the least marked in the series history during June.
Among detailed job sectors, retail employees noted a sharp rebound. Downturns also eased in manufacturing, finance and utilities. Meanwhile, two out of eight monitored job sectors reported an outright improvement in financial wellbeing during June, namely construction and IT/telecoms.
Stable price pressures and rising income from employment were factors behind the relatively subdued financial squeeze. Moreover, spending increased at the fastest pace in nearly a year.
Improvements were also seen in the labour market – growth of workplace activity picked up and worries about job security eased since May. ■