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Christmas sales figures to rise

Christmas sales will be ahead by between 2% and 3% against last year according to a report by Mintel.

The research agency predicted that said that one in three Brits admitted that money was tighter this year but said they still intended to splash out for Christmas.

However of the 1,0005 shoppers interviewed for the survey, those planning to stick to a budget has risen from 39% in 2002 to 46% this year. In addition one in five adults said they expected to spend less this Christmas than last year.

Richard Perks, director of retail research at Mintel said: "During 2007 overall spending has slowed down, but our research shows that confidence is still remarkably strong. The signs are that nothing is going to come between British shoppers and having a good Christmas this year."

"Low unemployment means people feel secure about their jobs and their monthly pay cheques. This, combined with the fact that the impact of rising interest rates on predominantly fixed rate mortgages will take another year and a half to work through, means British consumers are not yet ready to tighten the purse strings," he added.

Mintel's research also showed that 38% of adults would use the internet to buy a few Christmas gifts this year, while one in ten adults said they would use it to buy most of their presents.

Mintel's UK Retail Briefing - Christmas Focus report costs £295. Tel: 020 7600 5703.

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