Britons are forecast to spend more in restaurants and physical retail stores this Christmas, as the sector pins its hopes on a strong ‘golden quarter’.

Consumers are expected to spend 3.7 per cent more in-store than last year between 1 November and 24 December, with restaurant trade and electronics sales set for particularly strong growth, according to data from Mastercard Spending Pulse.

The data is an encouraging sign for the high street after retail sales fell in September, suggesting consumer strength is beginning to wane under the pressure of the cost of living crisis.

But experts say that lower energy bills and a slightly brighter economic outlook could encourage people back on to the high street.

Paul Martin, UK head of retail at KPMG, said last month: ’With the warmer weather delaying household heating being switched on, positive news around falling inflation and a hold on rising interest rates, consumers will hopefully be feeling a bit more confident as thoughts turn to Christmas shopping.

’After years of battling challenges, the resilience of the retail sector has been dented and we are starting to see the gap between the strongest and the weakest on the high street widen.

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