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Verdict Research say consumer bill will rise - partly due to food costs...

Christmas shoppers to spend more, buy less?

Verdict Research has forecast that UK consumers will spend £82.3bn with retailers in the final quarter of 2008 or £1,363 per head, according to TheRetailBulletin. This figure is up two per cent on 2007, though it is the second lowest growth rate in 20 years.

The £1.6bn extra shoppers will be spending will be more than eaten up by food inflation.

Maureen Hinton, lead analyst at Verdict comments, “Not surprisingly food and grocery accounts for the largest share of shoppers’ spending over the Christmas period (38 per cent), and with food inflation running at 6.3 per cent this quarter, consumers are facing a more expensive Christmas feast. But unavoidable though this extra expense will be, shoppers will be more careful in what they buy, balancing spending on treats with cutbacks on everyday foods.”

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