The MoneySaving Forum: join to chat & swap tips with other MoneySavers. Learn how in the Forum Introduction Guide

Consumer spending down over early Christmas period

By the Press Association

The Press Assocation

The Press Association is a news wire with a large reporting team. We use it for additional stories on mainstream issues. Views represented do not necessarily reflect those of

6 December 2012

Christmas shoppers are spending less this year as consumers are tightening their belts, research shows.

The key shopping period got off to a subdued start last week, with consumer spending 2.8% lower than a year ago, research published by Visa shows.

Related MSE Guides

50 Festive Fivers

Top Christmas presents for under a fiver

Free Christmas Gift Cheques

Pledge to do something nice, rather than spend

Christmas bargains

cheap toys & gifts, half price perfume, 5% cashback on Xmas spends, champagne & more

Spending was down year-on-year last week in six out of eight categories, with spending on health and education plunging 21.4%, clothing and footwear down 5.1%, recreation and culture down 6.4% and food and drink down 3.2%.

Hotels and restaurants bucked the downward trend, recording a 3.9% year-on-year increase.

On a week-on-week basis, people increased spending by 11.9%, driven by a 25% uplift in clothing and footwear sales.

Spending was also up month-on-month in November by 0.3%, marking the third increase recorded in the past four months, although consumer spending levels were still 1.1% lower across November than they were a year ago.

Chris Williamson, chief economist at Markit, which compiled the research, says: "Household spending remains under pressure from widespread job insecurity amid high unemployment, weak wage growth that continues to be eroded by stubbornly high inflation, as well as a desire to pay off existing debt in the face of an uncertain and gloomy economic outlook."


Discuss this MSE news story: Christmas shopping

Cheap Travel Money

Find the best online rate for holiday cash with MSE's TravelMoneyMax.

Find the best online rate for your holiday cash with MoneySavingExpert's TravelMoneyMax.