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Current financial strain eases for UK households

Staff Writer |
UK households saw financial pressures ease in December. In fact, the latest seasonally adjusted Household Finance Index (HFI) reading was among the highest recorded since the survey’s inception in February 2009.

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At 45.3, up from 43.8 in November, the index pointed to the weakest financial strain in over a year-and-a-half.

A further rise in workplace activity and fewer job insecurities combined to help ease the perceived strain on current finances. However, stagnant pay and rising inflation perceptions continued to squeeze finances at the end of 2016.

Despite edging up from 45.2 in November to 46.7, the seasonally adjusted index measuring expectations for finances in 12 months’ time pointed to one of the worst outlooks over the past three years during December. Downbeat sentiment has been signalled in each of past nine months.

After having fallen in July following the EU referendum, workplace activity increased solidly for the fifth consecutive month during December.

The rate of expansion was broadly in line with the 2016 average. Out of the eight monitored job sectors, the steepest rise came in utilities/energy/transport.

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