North East set for ‘sensible' Christmas

People in the North East are set to reign back on spending money and focus more on spending time with their families this Christmas.

New research on Christmas spending, conducted across the UK regions by ComRes on behalf of insolvency trade body R3, found that whilst a high proportion of people in the region expect to spend less on food, drink and presents this year, four in five people believe the impact of the credit crunch will help make friends and family the centre of attention this year, instead of expensive gifts.

Only eight per cent of regional respondents said they will be spending what they wanted this year and making up the shortfall by borrowing, whereas 55% said even though they can't afford to spend what they wanted over Christmas, they will not be looking to borrow to help them do so.

Jim James, R3's north east regional chairman and head of the Insolvency and Corporate Recovery Unit at Newcastle-based law firm Ward Hadaway, said: "It's heartening that, whilst times are tough, the UK population is not automatically thinking of borrowing more and appears to be acting in a more financially responsible manner.

"However, many of those who are planning to borrow more will do so on credit cards, and everyone still needs to be mindful of the inherent dangers of doing so without having an idea of the true cost of repayment and how long it will take to pay back in 2009.

"The decrease in spending this Christmas is likely to hit those in the retail and leisure industries very hard - Christmas is a time when most of the year's profit is made for these businesses, and we will inevitably see an increase in business failures in these areas."

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