Welsh Expect to Spend an Extra 20% on Christmas This Year; Consumers Planning to Pay out Pounds 676on Gifts, Food and Drink and Socialising

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Byline: Sion Barry

WELSH retailers can look forward to celebrating a profitable Christmas, with consumers expecting to spend 20.7% more over the festive season than last year.

According to the 2003 Deloitte Christmas Survey, consumers in Wales expect to spend a total of pounds 676 on Christmas gifts, food and drink and socialising - pounds 116 more than last year and higher than the UK average of pounds 602.

This year's total spend figure is the highest amount that consumers have predicted as their total spend since the Christmas Survey began in 1995.

John Foster Thomas, senior partner at Deloitte, Cardiff, said, 'With the year-end looming, it seems that Welsh retailers can look forward to celebrating a profitable Christmas.

'The recent interest rate rise does not appear to have dampened consumers' spending spirits, but this could be a last spending spree before consumers tighten their belts in the New Year.'

The Deloitte Christmas Survey also revealed that 70% of consumers in Wales planned to start their Christmas shopping before December.

However, only 3% of respondents said that they would leave their shopping until the last minute and venture into the shops on Christmas Eve. …