Consumer spending over Christmas set to drop

Consumer spending in the run up to Christmas is expected to drop by £2.3bn, according to a study, as the public face up to the effects of the Government’s planned spending cuts.

The research from Moneysupermarket.com, which comes as the 100-day count down to Christmas begins, also shows that consumers plan to spend less on gifts this year than in previous years.

British consumers are expected to spend £9.3bn on gifts this year compared with £11.6bn in 2009.

Almost three quarters (72%) of consumers plan to use discount vouchers to cut the cost of the festive season.

The comparison site expects an increase in retailers issuing vouchers this Christmas as both consumers and business get “savvier about ways to reduce spending”.

Sian Harrison, Voucher Expert at moneysupermarket, says: “People are getting savvier about ways to reduce their spend by spreading their spending and using vouchers. Retailers are savvier too and this Christmas we expect a bumper crop of deals and discounts to be offered to attract budget-conscious consumers.”

Shoppers are also looking to spread the cost of Christmas and the research claims that as many as one in five have already started their shopping.

The research follows a report carried out by GfK NOP on behalf of the European Commission which revealed that consumer confidence rose for the first time since February in August.

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