Consumer trends, UK: October to December 2023

Household final consumption expenditure (HHFCE) for the UK, as a measure of economic growth. Includes all spending on goods and services by members of UK households.

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Email Household expenditure team

Release date:
28 March 2024

Next release:
28 June 2024

1. Main points

  • In Quarter 4 (Oct to Dec) 2023, household spending growth (adjusted for inflation) was negative 0.1% compared with Quarter 3 (July to Sept) 2023.

  • Compared with Quarter 4 2022, household spending increased by 0.3%.

  • When compared with Quarter 4 2019 (pre-coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic), household spending decreased by 2.1%.

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3. Measuring the data

The quarterly consumer trends data are typically published around 90 days after the end of the quarter.

This release contains data that are consistent with the UK National Accounts, The Blue Book: 2023, released on 31 October 2023. As such, data for all periods within this release are subject to revision in line with the National Accounts Revisions Policy.

The Blue Book is the UK's annual compendium of national accounts data and incorporates several improvements to methods and sources into the UK's National Accounts. Details of improvements introduced in Blue Book 2023, which affect household expenditure and revisions to the previous publication, can be found in our User guide to consumer trends.

The reference year and last base year for all chained volume measure estimates is 2019. Further information on latest developments and changes implemented in Blue Book 2023 can be found in our Proposed changes to be implemented in Blue Book and Pink Book 2023 article.

We have produced an update to the Classification of Individual Consumption by Purpose (COICOP) to Classification of Products by Activity (CPA) mapper for 2020. Household final consumption expenditure (HHFCE) includes spending on goods and services, except for:

  • buying or extending a house

  • investment in valuables (for example, paintings and antiques)

  • purchasing second-hand goods


More quality and methodology information on strengths, limitations, appropriate uses, and how the data were created is available in our Consumer trends Quality and Methodology Information (QMI).

Impact of coronavirus (COVID-19)

From Quarter 1 (Jan to Mar) 2020, estimates of HHFCE, along with other components of gross domestic product (GDP), are subject to more uncertainty than was the case previously. This is because of the challenges we faced in collecting the data under government-imposed public health restrictions. In the case of HHFCE, these challenges were compounded by the suspension of data collection for the International Passenger Survey (IPS) between March 2020 and January 2021, and the temporary suspension of the Living Costs and Food survey (LCF) between 16 March and 14 April 2020.

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5. Cite this bulletin

Office for National Statistics (ONS), released 28 March 2024, ONS website, statistical bulletin, Consumer trends, UK: October to December 2023

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Contact details for this Statistical bulletin

Household expenditure team
Telephone: +44 300 0671510