Family spending power is up this Christmas, following the biggest annual increase to discretionary income in almost five years, according to the Asda Income Tracker.

The average UK household took home £179 per week after taxes and bills in November - £11 or 6.7% more than last year. Asda said this was the strongest annual increase recorded on the tracker since December 2009.

Household spending was boosted by the strong employment growth over the last year and the accelerating wage growth since June, Asda claimed.

Shoppers also benefited from falling prices, paying 1.7% less for food, 1% less for alcohol and 6% less for fuel than they did last November, allowing bigger budgets to go further.

“The cost of living remains a concern across households in the UK, however we’re now officially out of recession and people are seeing more money in their pockets now than they have since 2009,” said Asda president and chief executive Andy Clarke.

“Our customers are always telling us how important it is that they can treat their loved ones and themselves at this time of year – so it is great to see the pressure on family finances ease a little.

“The lowest fuel prices since 2010 alongside the falling cost of food are all going to help with supporting family budgets throughout the Christmas period,” he added.

Discretionary income would continue to grow next year, predicted Centre for Economics and Business Research economist Sam Alderson.

“With average weekly earnings beginning to strengthen and inflation likely to fall further in coming months, households look set to enjoy further boosts to spending power in the New Year,” Alderson said.