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UK households repaid debt at the fastest pace since 2009 amid squeezed savings, lower income from employment and less cash available to spend, survey results from IHS Markit showed on Monday.

The Scottish Widows household finance index rose to 42.0 in the first quarter from 41.1 in the fourth quarter.

Although the score was well below the neutral 50.0 mark, the index signaled the slowest deterioration in UK household finances since the start of the pandemic.

While the UK is set to emerge from lockdown in the coming months, the outlook for finances over the year ahead remained downbeat and worsened slightly since the fourth quarter of 2020.

While the UK is set to emerge from lockdown in the coming months, the outlook for finances over the year ahead remained downbeat and worsened slightly since the fourth quarter of 2020.

People focused on paying down existing debt, which saw the quickest fall since the survey began in 2009.

Income from employment continued to decline as another lockdown forced cuts in working hours and continued furlough. The appetite for major purchases such as cars and holidays, fell at the slowest rate since the first quarter of 2020.

In line with lower incomes, UK households more broadly remained concerned about job security.


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