High Streets face Christmas with consumer confidence at a ten-year low

British High Streets face a gloomy Christmas with consumer confidence at a ten-year low amid Brexit crisis

  • High Street shops face the slowest rate of spending growth in three years
  • Retail experts predict that spending on festivities will rise by just 0.8 per cent  
  • Another study found more than 30,000 town shops shut between 2014 and 2019

Britain’s High Street faces a gloomy Christmas amid warnings Brexit uncertainty will see shoppers tightening the purse strings.

Retail experts predict spending on festivities will rise by just 0.8 per cent – the slowest rate of growth for at least three years and less than the rate of inflation.

But the forecast is brighter in Europe and the US, where spending over the period will grow 1.2 per cent and 2.7 per cent respectively, according to the Centre for Retail Research.

Retail experts predict spending on festivities will rise by just 0.8 per cent – the slowest rate of growth for at least three years and less than the rate of inflation. But the forecast is brighter in Europe and the US [File photo]

The annual Shopping for Christmas report warns consumer confidence is at a ten-year low amid concerns about the impact of Brexit on personal finances and the wider economy.

 The Daily Mail has repeatedly highlighted the crisis in the retail sector, which threatens to ruin many of the country’s town centres

The experts, who predict UK spending will rise from £79.71billion to £80.27billion, added that a general election at the start of the Christmas period could also put pressure on consumer spending.

The report said: ‘Lower growth in 2019, a fall in consumer confidence before Brexit and lower expectations about earnings in November 2019 to December 2020 will probably cause shoppers to spend less.’

It adds that Christmas spending will not be harmed if a Brexit deal is agreed or an extension granted.

But it warns: ‘If there is no Brexit deal, then Christmas spending is likely to be adversely affected.

‘If lorries are stranded at ports, for example, economic life suffers immediately. In this instance, the growth in retail sales this Christmas in the UK may fall from 0.8 per cent to 0.2 per cent.’

The bad tidings come after a separate study by Which? last week found more than 30,000 shops in traditional town centres shut between 2014 and 2019 – with specialist stores hit hardest.

The annual Shopping for Christmas report warns consumer confidence is at a ten-year low amid concerns about the impact of Brexit on personal finances and the wider economy [File photo]

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