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In this week's roundup we report on continued UK market share growth for Tesco and sales drops for the UK's other big supermarket groups, as well as new figures highlighting British households as the biggest spenders in Europe and UK inflation reaching a two-year high.


Tesco continues market share growth

Tesco has enjoyed a third consecutive month of market share growth, new research from Kantar Worldpanel has shown. According to the findings, sales at Britain's biggest supermarket group climbed 1.6% year on year in the 12 weeks to December 4.

The growth means that Tesco's UK market share has climbed to 28.3% compared to the 28.0% recorded at this time in 2015, while its shares have increased by 39% in 2016 so far.

The supermarket giant has made moves to lower prices, improve customer service and increase product availability, and Fraser McKevitt, Head of Retail and Consumer Insight at Kantar Worldpanel, said: "Tesco's volume sales are growing faster than its value sales, particularly in the meat and fresh produce categories." 

…but other major supermarkets report sales dips

Despite Tesco's sales growth, the UK's other major supermarkets have each recorded sales drops. The Kantar Worldpanel research showed that Sainsbury's, Asda and Morrisons - the other members of the 'Big Four' - each saw a reduction in sales in the three months to December 4.

Sales at Asda tumbled by 4.7% across the 12 weeks, while at Sainsbury's they fell by 0.6% and declined by 1.4% at Morrisons. The movement means Sainsbury's now has a market share of 16.5%, Asda has 15.3% and Morrisons 10.8%.

However, there was better news for discount supermarkets Aldi and Lidl, which enjoyed sales growth of 10% and 5.7% respectively. 

PwC: British households are Europe's top spenders

UK households are the top spenders in Europe, a new report from global accountancy firm PwC has revealed. It was found that British household spending averages around £50,000 a year - markedly higher than the £41,000 spent by Irish households and £35,000 by those in France.

The findings showed that housing, food and other essential items accounted for around half of British spending, but revealed the nation's non-essential spending is also the highest across Europe.

PwC commented: "While this is good news for businesses in the short term, it does make the UK potentially vulnerable to a sharp slowdown in household spending in the event of a future economic downturn that prompts higher precautionary saving, as happened in 2008-9." 

UK inflation climbs to highest level in two years

UK inflation has reached its highest level for two years, as measured by the Consumer Prices Index. It climbed to 1.2% in November, which is up on the 0.9% recorded in October and represents the highest rate since the 1.3% posted in October 2014.

The higher-than-expected rise has been attributed to price increases for fuel, clothing and charges at hotels and restaurants, and was partly offset by reductions in non-alcoholic drinks and air fares.


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