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Britons plan to spend less on Christmas

Source: Reuters - Mon 2th Nov 2009

Britons are planning to spend less on gifts this Christmas than last year as they worry about rising unemployment and taxes, putting into question signs of a recovery in consumer spending, a survey showed Monday.

Broker Execution Ltd interviewed a representative sample of 2,000 Britons from October 20 to 26 and found participants on average plan to spend 358 pounds ($593) on presents this year, 4 percent less than they forecast this time last year.

Some 40 percent said they would spend less than last year, 10 percent said they would spend a lot less, while around half said they expected to spend around the same as a year ago.

"With many still believing the spectre of unemployment hangs over them and half thinking their tax bill will rise, people are cutting back spending, increasing their savings and reducing debt" said Execution analyst Caroline Gulliver.

"So, at the moment, the outlook for Christmas spending is even worse than 2008."

"However, what we know from experience is that as the end of December approaches what people do can be very different to what they say and so the outcome may not be as disappointing as these results suggest."

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