Have you noticed an increase in the amount of disposable income you have to spend each month?

New figures from Asda suggest the average family is £13 a week better off than a year ago.

The falling cost of ‘essential items’ and the introduction of the National Living Wage have helped to boost people’s finances.

Asda’s monthly Income Tracker shows a 7% increase in family spending power in May to £201 – the highest rate of growth since November 2015.

Food and drink prices fell by 0.4% in May, contributing to a year-on-year drop of 2.8%.

Transport costs are also at a lower level than they were last year, but did rise by 0.9% between April and May.

Families across the UK continued to enjoy a boost to bank balances last month

Asda
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The cost of transport went up 0.9% between April and May. Image by Songquan Deng/Shutterstock.com

The price of clothing and footwear fell by 0.2% in the spring but the cost of a hotel stay in the UK went up by 2%. 

An Asda spokesperson said: “A rise in wages, coupled with the falling cost of essential items, ensured that families across the UK continued to enjoy a boost to bank balances last month. 

“The amount of discretionary income recorded by Asda’s Income Tracker reached an all-time high, which is very encouraging and demonstrates continued consumer confidence. 

“While costs continue to fall for UK households and spending power growth begins to accelerate once more, the long term picture is more difficult to predict as we wait to see the impact of the EU Referendum’s decision on the nation’s pockets.”

Falling unemployment figures – the rate fell to 5% after five consecutive readings of 5.1% – and the impact of the National Living Wage helped employee gross earnings rise by 2.5% and net incomes go up 2.4%, the report said.

Sam Alderson, economist at the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr), said: “The introduction of the National Living Wage and the continuation of low levels of inflation have provided households with yet another welcome boost to spending power.

“May marks the fastest annual growth in 2016 and will likely provide some much needed security to households facing the uncertain outcome to the UK’s referendum on membership of the European Union.”