Household spending has not recovered to its pre-recession levels, research has shown.
The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics suggest that shoppers remain cautious, despite a recent modest rise in income.
Retail Vision director John Ibbotson described current discretionary spending as "anaemic at best".
"This report confirms what anyone who is struggling to make ends meet has long suspected; that nearly three years after the official end of the recession, the bleak economic outlook and fragile jobs market are still squeezing consumer spending," he said.
The current gloomy economy has left many households struggling to cope with a combination of pay freezes and rising living costs.
A number of Britons are in need of debt help, with the average UK household owing nearly £8,000.
The ONS figures show that most people tried to cut back on their non-essential spending, such as dining out in restaurants and staying in hotels.
Posted by Fiona Tench
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