Consumers up festive spending

British consumers spent£19.3 billion on gifts in the run-up to Christmas last year, according to research from Taylor Nelson Sofres.

Shoppers bought more than 700 million gifts between October and Christmas, and a third of all presents were bought before December 1.

The value of the gift market increased by£487 million year-on-year and the average spend per Christmas gift climbed by 11 per cent to£30.30 last year.

The data shows that levels of Christmas purchasing have remained fairly stable.