UK consumers will spend more than £11 billion on Christmas presents over the next five weeks, according to new research, with the figures ten per cent up on 2005.
The British Retail Consortium (BRC) says that goods to the collective value of £33 billion will be bought in December, an increase of six per cent compared to last year.
In the two weeks leading up to December 25th alone, £15 billion will be spent on Britain's high streets, the BRC claims.
The research, issued 35 days before Christmas, adds that up to five per cent of festive spending will be conducted online.
But the BRC is confident that Christmas 2006 will prove to be a good one for retailers, following 12 months of uneven fortune.
The trade association's director general Kevin Hawkins said: "These are encouraging predictions for the retail sector after a tough year which has seen a slump in consumer confidence, escalating costs and falling prices. The high street is definitely eager for a boom Christmas.
"Christmas is by far the most important time of the year for many retailers and it is also the best indicator of how confident consumers are heading into the new year. I think sales figures this Christmas will give us a genuine read on the state of economy in the short term."
Today's survey also reveals that the average person will spend £390 on gifts this Christmas, while ten million turkeys and seven million trees will be bought.
According to the BRC, retailers frequently generate up to two-thirds of annual turnover between November and January.