Money worries have caused a cut in spending this Christmas by forty-five per cent, a recent YouGov poll revealed.
In comparison to 2009, spending has almost halved over the festive season.
The reason behind the cut in spending comes from the publics’ fears of the economic downturn becoming even worse in 2011.
Bryan Roberts, of consultants Kantar, said: “This is a surprise as Christmas is sacrosanct to most families. The worry is there may be bigger problems later this year.”
Just 16 per cent of people said they spent more this year over the Christmas period than in 2009.
The poll also showed that with only eight per cent saying they spent more this year, overall, 50 per cent of shoppers spent less in the January sales than last year.
Although retailers expected the public to have one last shopping spree before the VAT increase and expected job losses within the public sector, it appears shoppers have pre-empted the tough times to come and are clearly planning for rough seas ahead.
For around 45 per cent of people, money worries are already greater than they were a year ago and a fifth of people have already found they struggle or are unable to pay their bills.
Money worries are now greater than they were a year ago for 45 per cent of people while a fifth say it is a struggle to pay the bills.
The poll also revealed that 23 per cent of people think the VAT increase will cause them to really struggle, while 49 per cent say they will have to make short-term cut backs.
What does the economic downturn mean to you? Will the VAT increase cause you to struggle too?