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Shoppers to curb festive spending, report says

By Kalyeena Makortof

Christmas spending is set to fall for the first time since 2012 as Brexit uncertainty and a drop in real wages weigh on British households, new research suggests.

The news could spell trouble for retailers, many of which rely on a spike in sales in the final months of the calendar year to help boost revenues.

Research compiled by IHS for Visa forecasts that consumer spending during the festive period is set to fall 0.1% in real terms compared with the same period last year, when spending grew 2.8%.

It would be the first time that spending has dropped over the November-December shopping period since 2012, when it declined 1.3%.

"Economic output has been undermined by Brexit uncertainty, whilst the past depreciation of sterling continues to feed through to rising consumer prices, leading to a further squeeze on household disposable income," the report explained.

The report also laid the blame for the anticipated curb in spending on a drop in real terms wages.

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