One third of Britons to cut back on Christmas spending -PwC

LONDON (Reuters) – Almost one in three British adults expect to spend less on Christmas this year, with most blaming the rising cost of living, according to survey data published by PwC on Monday.

It said just under 80% of those who plan to spend less cited increasing food and energy costs, while just over 20% pointed to higher mortgage or rent payments.

According to PwC’s survey, 18% of British adults expect to spend more on Christmas this year, with just over half saying they will spend the same as last year.

“With shoppers wanting to protect spending on family and special occasions, they are starting preparations early and being cautious, with over a third of consumers planning to shop before the peak festive trading times, and many also saying that they will spend less,” Lisa Hooker, leader of industry for consumer markets at PwC said.

So far this year, despite high inflation and other pressures on the cost of living, consumer demand has generally held up.

Industry data published last week did show consumer spending lost pace in September, with warm weather hitting sales of autumnal clothing, knitwear and coats.

However, earlier this month Tesco, Britain’s biggest retailer, said it was upbeat about Christmas prospects.

Also, in anticipation of robust trading retailers, including Sainsbury’s and Marks & Spencer, plan to hire more temporary workers for the festive season than last year.

(Reporting by James Davey; editing by William James)