Spending on food and clothing in the UK has plunged, according to new figures from the Office for National Statistics.
Data from the body showed that the figure dipped to just £21.60 per week during the year, marking the lowest recorded proportion of household income spent on such items and the lowest in headline terms (discounting inflation) since 2002.
The figure peaked at a record high of £23.90 in 2004-05 and has been falling ever since.
Such a tally may indicate that more money is being spent on financing personal debt, leaving less available to dedicate to such items, particularly luxuries.
The average UK household income was £471 in 2008, compared with £459.20 in 2007.
Despite the limitations on spending, it appears that the UK retail sector has done better than some feared over the Christmas period.
Manager of the F&C Stewardship Growth and Stewardship Income funds Catherine Stanley commented: “It’s fair to say that the UK retail sector did not suffer the Armageddon many predicted for 2009.”