Brits plan to splash out this Christmas

12 November 2003
Despite the recent rise in interest rates, over half the UK population (51 per cent) expects to spend more this Christmas.

The average spend per person is expected to reach £446, just over 2002's total of £440, high street bank Abbey claims.

Just under a quarter of British consumers (22 per cent) will be putting off paying for Christmas by putting seasonal purchases on plastic.

The majority (64 per cent) will fund Christmas by dipping into savings.

However, certain age groups are tightening their belts this year, with those aged 45-54 planning to spend an average of £562, down from £571 last year.

The biggest British spenders by far are likely to be aged 35-44 years who are intending to splash out an average of £654 each, a 5.5 per cent increase on last year's £620. Six per cent of Brits plan to spend more than £1,000 on the festive season.

Reza Attar-Zadeh, director of banking and consumer credit at Abbey commented: "People seem to be staying upbeat about their Christmas spending this year despite the likelihood of further interest rate increases. Smart shoppers will be paying as they go with savings or talking to their banks about interest-free deals."