Christmas retail spend to rise by 1%

Although survey says 2011 shows real risk that sales values could fall

A survey carried out by consultants at Deloitte has shown that 71% of UK consumers plan to spend the same amount or more than last year on gifts, raising the over spend by 1%.

The increase in spend will take the value of retail sales in December to just over £37bn.

Predicted economic gloom doesn’t appear to be affecting the consumer buying trends as the survey has also shown that the majority plan to spend the same or more on food, drink, entertainment and leisure over the festival period.

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UK head of retail at Deloitte, Ian Geddes, said that the figures were in line with consumer behaviour over the past two years. “Each year, consumers tell us they will do whatever they can to enjoy Christmas and this year will be no different.”

However, according to the same report the forecasted upturn is unlikely to return in 2011. Worrying predictions from Deloitte state that the industry may not see any growth over the year and that there is a “real risk” that sales values could actually fall. Geddes looked to the increase in VAT on January 4 combined with the impact of the Spending Review, cuts in child benefit and increase in train fares as areas for concern next year.