UK Statistics

Consumer trends: quarter 4 (Oct to Dec) 2015

1.Main points

In Quarter 4 (Oct to Dec) 2015, household spending (adjusted for inflation) grew by 0.6% (£1.7 billion) compared with Quarter 3 (July to Sept) 2015.

The main contribution to growth can be seen in “Household goods and services”, which has increased by 3.4% compared with Quarter 3 (July to Sept) 2015. “Health”, “Miscellaneous” and “Housing” were the only areas showing small negative contributions to the overall growth in the current quarter (Oct to Dec) 2015.

Household spending in volume terms increased to £267.4 billion in Quarter 4 (Oct to Dec) 2007 before falling to £250.8 billion in Quarter 2 (Apr to June) 2009. Following falls in 2010 and 2011, it has now increased to £279.1 billion, the highest volume spending since the start of the series. In each quarter since Quarter 2 (Apr to June) 2014, volume spending has exceeded the previous high in Quarter 4 (Oct to Dec) 2007.

Household spending when compared with the same quarter a year ago has been showing positive growth each quarter since Quarter 4 (Oct to Dec) 2011. It was 2.7% higher in Quarter 4 (Oct to Dec) 2015, when compared with Quarter 4 (Oct to Dec) 2014. 

Household spending in volume terms has increased by 2.8% in 2015 when compared with 2014. This is the highest annual growth in volume terms since 2007. 

The current price value of household spending, which includes inflation, shows how much UK households spent. In Quarter 4 (Oct to Dec) 2015, current price spending increased by 1.9% compared with Quarter 3 (July to Sept) 2015. 

The household expenditure implied deflator increased by 1.3% in Quarter 4 (Oct to Dec) 2015 compared with the previous quarter (July to Sept) 2015. 

7.Household final consumption expenditure revisions Quarter 4 (Oct to Dec) 2015

In common with all components of UK gross domestic product (GDP), household final consumption expenditure (HHFCE) estimates are subject to the revisions policy of the UK National Accounts. This allows revisions to estimates to be made at particular times of the year. 

In Quarter 4 (Oct to Dec) 2015, the revisions to total household final consumption expenditure have been made from Quarter 1 (Jan to Mar) 2015.

Revisions between the previous edition of Consumer Trends (Quarter 3 (July to Sept) 2015) and the latest HHFCE estimates are summarised in Table 1 ‘Revisions to household final consumption expenditure’. They reflect updated data from suppliers, as well as adjustments to HHFCE as a result of the GDP balancing process. 

All growth rates in consumer trends are rounded to 1 decimal place. This may cause disparity between revisions displayed in the main consumer trends tables and the revisions table above.

8.Guidance and Methodology

HHFCE terms and definitions are outlined in Table 2. Consumer Trends guidance offers fuller details regarding this publication.


Source: Office for National Statistics licensed under the Open Government Licence v.1.0.

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