Shoppers to increase Christmas spending despite financial uncertainty

Christmas shopping. Picture by PA
Christmas shopping. Picture by PA

British consumers are expected to put financial uncertainty aside this Christmas and increase their spending over last year, a survey suggests.

British families will spend an average £821.25 on gifts, food and drink and decorations, up 1.3% on last year and 54% more than the European average of £532 (Euros 612.90), according to figures from Centre for Retail Research (CRR) and VoucherCodes.

Adults will spend an average £244 each on gifts, up 1.3% on last year and 51.5% more than the European average of £160.82 (185.28 euro).

Online Christmas spending is expected to be 11.8% up on last year, and is now the main driver of retail growth, CRR said.

However, these gains are expected to be increasingly at the expense of the high street, with sales in physical shops expected to drop by 2.5% in the UK.

Paul Lewis, senior director of marketing at VoucherCodes, said: "Despite ongoing economic uncertainty with Brexit and rising inflation, it seems Brits are still happy to splash their cash to make the most of the festive season, with spend across all major categories seeing a year-on-year rise."

Opinium surveyed 2,005 UK adults online between October 12-17.