The UK set for cut-price Christmas as 59% say they will have less money to spend during the festive shopping period.

Iran PressEurope: British businesses fear a gloomy Christmas ahead, as almost half of the households plan to cut festive spending due to the soaring cost of living, and sales are already falling sharply in inflation-adjusted terms.

Payments processor Barclaycard said 48% of people it surveyed over Oct. 21-24 plan to spend less this Christmas, with 59% intending to buy less generous gifts and 42% cutting back on socializing.

The British Retail Consortium said spending at major stores in October was 1.6% higher than a year earlier, slowing from 2.2% in September and representing a big fall in the volume of purchases once inflation was taken into account.

British consumer price inflation returned to a 40-year high of 10.1% in September, and the Bank of England last week forecasted it would peak at around 11% during the current quarter.

The BoE also raised interest rates to 3%, their highest since 2008, and said Britain was at risk of two years of recession - longer than any in the past century, although the outright decline it forecasts is shallower than in 2008-09.

The BRC's measure of like-for-like sales, which adjusts for changes in retailers' floor space, slowed to 1.2% in October from September's 1.8%.

Britain's official retail sales data, which cover more shops than the BRC figures and is adjusted for inflation, showed sales volumes excluding fuel dropped 6.2% year-on-year in September.

Spending on food in the three months to October rose by 5.1% compared with a year earlier, while non-food spending dropped by 1.2%, the BRC said. Mild weather saw shoppers delay buying winter clothes, but electric blankets and air fryers saw high demand as people sought cheaper ways to cook and stay warm.


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