Family spending power increased year on year in October for the 13th consecutive month, according to the latest Asda Income Tracker.

Average UK household discretionary income reached £176 – up £8 a week on the same month last year and beat the previous record of £174 last seen in January 2010.

October saw the cost of essentials such as food and fuel continue to fall, by 1.4% and 4.8% respectively, helping to stretch family budgets further.

 “Christmas is such an important time for families – it is great that this Christmas they are less constrained than they have been in previous years,” said Asda president and CEO Andy Clarke.

Deflation in food costs, fuel and clothing were all contributing to a more positive spending outlook across the UK, he said.

Rob Harbron, senior economist at the Centre for Economics and Business Research, noted the economic environment had become much more favourable for UK households in recent months.

Growth in the cost of living had slowed to five-year lows, easing pressure on budgets, and this was expected to continue next year.

“It’s also encouraging to see wage growth starting to pick up. Discretionary income levels have now regained their pre-crisis peak, but this is only the start of the recovery, and risks such as interest rate rises remain on the horizon,” Harbron said.