Families are having to cut back on groceries, eating out and holidays as the credit crisis starts to have a profound effect on household spending.Except that it isn't anything to do with the credit crunch:
With the cost of living going up by £1,800 a year for the average home, the first evidence has emerged of how families are changing their spending habits to cope with the economic squeeze.
Disposable income has been affected by a range of increased costs. Gas, electricity, water, food and drink bills, council taxes and mortgage payments have all increased by more than the rate of inflation.In fact, the best evidence the story can offer of "austerity" is that:
Aldi, the budget supermarket, has reported a 25 per cent increase in sales, with rising numbers of middle-class customers.And:
although shoppers were buying flat-screen televisions, laptops and fridges in money-off promotions, they were shunning full-priced products.