Festive cutbacks 'will cost Plymouth £1million'
PLYMOUTH'S economy is set to lose £1million this Christmas as cash-strapped residents cut back, a survey says.
New research reveals only 17 per cent of city folk feel the recession is over, and are due to spend at their lowest level since the economic downturn began.
The study quizzed 2,000 consumers and revealed 53 per cent of Plymouth adults are feeling the financial pinch more this year compared to previous recession years.
Plymouth households will spend on average £497 this festive season, the survey said, which is £10 less compared to last Christmas – and represents a £1million hit to the city's economy.
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Meanwhile, the report also said 46 per cent of Plymouth adults think Christmas has become a commercial money-spinner for retailers and this year are going to be more financially cautious.
Plymouth shoppers' cutback is less than some other UK cities, such as Bristol, where consumers will spend £94 less on Christmas shopping this year.
People in Birmingham plan to spend nearly £70 less and will be spending the least in comparison to the rest of the UK with the average household spend just £363.
The study, conducted by hotel chainTravelodge, also revealed cosmopolitan cities such as London, Liverpool, Leeds and Newcastle are splashing out the most this Christmas.
In Newcastle, families are spending £673 on average – £40 more than last year.
In Liverpool, consumers plan to splash out nearly £30 more than last year, forking out £515.
Meanwhile, the study shows 24 per cent of Plymouth residents will seek an invitation to spend Christmas with a family member in order to avoid the £104 cost of hosting Christmas dinner, which is £24 more than 2011.
Four per cent of Plymouth adults hosting Christmas dinner will ask guests for a contribution.
On average Plymouth residents will travel 82 miles to spend Christmas with family, and 38 per cent have already bagged a festive dinner date.
Plymouth people have also reduced the gift allowance to £28, a £2 drop from last year's £30 budget, 12 per cent will not buy gifts for parents, and 73 per cent won't buy for in-laws.
The survey also said 39 per cent of Plymouth children won't give a gift to their teacher, and 25 percent admit they cannot afford to tip their hairdresser, beautician, postman, bin man and paper boy.
In addition, 33 per cent won't be giving a present to work colleagues, and 30 per cent will neglect the neighbours.
Also, 35 per cent of respondents in Plymouth admitted they will choose cheaper presents, while a further eight per cent will recycle presents.
About 10 per cent of Plymouth people have been selling items on eBay and car boot sales to make money to buy presents, and 12 per cent of households won't buy alcohol for the big day, with 13 per cent saying they will forego a Christmas party.
The report said 26 per cent of Plymouth adults have saved hard all year to pay for Christmas, while 83 per cent said they will not be carrying out their festive spend on a credit card.
One in 10 adults reported they purchased all their Christmas presents at the January sales.
Shakila Ahmed, Travelodge spokeswoman, said: "Our findings have revealed encountering the hardship of the recession has turned us into a savvy nation of smart shoppers.
"Men and women in Plymouth are shopping much smarter and it's evident that getting value for money is top of the shopping list."