This is how households have cut back on Christmas spending this year

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 17: Christmas shoppers on Regent Street on December 17, 2022 in London, England. This weekend is the last full weekend before Christmas. (Photo by Hollie Adams/Getty Images)
New data shows Brits are spending less on Christmas this year. (Getty Images)

Brits have cut back on their Christmas spending this year, according to new data, as the cost of living crisis continues to bite

CPI inflation hit 10.7% in the 12 months to November, with the average yearly energy bill now at a record £2,500.

It appears people are responding to the worsening economic outlook by cutting back on their spending over the festive period.

According to the latest data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), six in ten adults said they are planning to cut down on the amount of money they spend this Christmas compared to last year.

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Of those who have cut back, buying fewer presents was the most common way of saving with 79% doing this, with buying less expensive presents close second at 73%.

Elsewhere 62% of those who cut back bought less pricey food and drink for Christmas, with 57% cutting back on eating out and 56% buying less and food and drink.

According to the Guardian, Shopper tracking agency Springboard this week reported that the number of Brits on the high street this winter is down by a fifth compared to before the pandemic - and down by just under 1% last year.

“Last week – the week prior to Christmas – should have been a peak trading week for retail destinations and stores, with footfall expected to rise from the week before as Christmas shopping moves towards its zenith," Diane Wehrle, the insights director at Springboard, told the Guardian.

"Instead, footfall across UK retail destinations took a tumble last week.

“While the cold weather prevailed, which would undoubtedly have had some impact, the contrast with the results for the week before clearly demonstrate that it was the rail strikes that were the key impact on footfall.”

Read more: Surge in online fundraising campaigns to pay for soaring energy bills

And in a demonstration of how people are turning to cheaper options, the British Heart Foundation (BHF) has said it has experienced its “biggest ever sales week” this December - with Barnardo’s, Age UK and Cancer Research UK reporting a rise in revenue

“Our first week in December 2022 set a record as our biggest ever sales week, with our shops and stores – along with our online channels like eBay – all performing significantly ahead of the same week last year," said BHF’s retail director, Allison Swaine-Hughes.

She added: “Our sales in December, which follows a continued strong performance throughout 2022, show that customers want high quality pre-loved items that are of good value and good for the environment, too.”

It comes after the Bank of England (BoE) warned the UK is facing the longest recession on record amid high inflation, hiking interest rates to 3.5% earlier this month.

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