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Christmas spending on the high street expected to fall for first time since 2012

Posted on 22 Nov 2017

According to a report published by Visa this week, Christmas spending across the UK is expected to fall for the first time since 2012.

Visa report that in a challenging economic environment, in which real wages are falling and economic growth is slow, we are likely to experience a 0.1% fall in consumer spending this Christmas.

street shopsIn comparison, last year spending increased by 2.8% over the Christmas period.

"While it still looks likely that consumers will be hitting stores and websites in search of bargains this Black Friday and Cyber Monday, we expect spending for the duration of the festive season to be lower in comparison to last year," said Mark Antipof, chief commercial officer at Visa.

"Looking back, consumers were in a sweet spot in 2016 - low inflation and rising wages meant there was a little extra in household budgets to spend on the festive period," he said.

"2017 has seen a reversal of fortunes - with inflation outpacing wage growth and the recent interest rate rise leaving shoppers with less money in their pockets."

The research suggests that it is high street spending that will be particularly hard hit, falling by 2.1 per cent compared to equivalent figures for last year - the biggest drop since 2012.

Online spending, however, is expected to rise by 3.6 per cent over this Christmas period accounting for a record share of Christmas spending. Of every £5 spent during the period, almost £2 will likely be spent online predicts Visa.