Christmas spending with caution

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Consumer confidence has fallen to new record lows, according to the latest consumer confidence survey from the market researcher Nielsen and the British Retail Consortium (BRC).
In Britain, 60% of people think their own personal finances are ‘not so good’ or ‘bad’, 69% said that now was ‘not a good time’ or a ‘bad time’ to buy the things they want or need and 70% said they thought their job prospects were ‘not so good’ or ‘bad’. When asked about their major concerns, 39% of Britons said that their biggest or second biggest concern was increasing utility bills.
Meanwhile the study conducted by Twega, organization managing online shopping search engine, among 3,000 internet users across six European countries including Britain, showed that 42% of respondents intended to spend less on Christmas in 2008 than in 2007. Faced with tighter budgets, 81% of the British respondents reported that they intend to compare prices online before buying gifts and 60% of them plan to spend less on Christmas in 2008 than in 2007.
Nevertheless, Brits remain the largest spenders in Europe despite cutbacks.
From an average Christmas shopping budget of £356, British internet users plan to spend 40% of it online. These figures top the Christmas budgets among Europeans as a whole, who on average plan to spend £244 on Christmas, and 27% of this online. 

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