British drinkers spend more on alcohol than their European neighbours or their American counterparts, according to research from Datamonitor, the independent market analyst. The average spend per person a year on booze in the UK is £1,272; almost twice that of the Germans, but in terms of alcohol consumption, the actual intake consumed is one of the lowest in Europe. The British spend more than two-thirds of their drinking money in pubs, bars and restaurants, where they drowned over 110 liters of alcoholic drinks per person in 2003. "The British attachment to drinking out of the home stems from the long-standing pub culture... for most Europeans, drinking alcohol is not a matter of getting drunk but of enjoying life - as a result, drinking good wine in one's own home signifies comfort and pleasure," commented Andrew Russell, consumer analyst at Datamonitor, and author of the report. However, Datamonitor predicts that spending on alcoholic drinks to be enjoyed at home or while entertaining friends will increase by almost 18%, to £23bn by 2008 – more than twice as fast as on-trade spending. The report also highlighted the total annual consumption of pure alcohol intake in the UK stood at 12.2 litres per person last year, compared with almost 16 litres in Germany and 15 litres in France. "The truth is that only a minority of Britain’s drinkers are binge drinkers – but this behaviour is concentrated in city centres and on weekends, maximizing its impact on society. By contrast, the higher alcohol consumption in Europe is less intense, reducing drunkenness, public order issues and other negative effects of alcohol consumption," commented Russell. In addition, Datamonitor forecast mid-week drinking would increase at an annual compound rate of over 3%. "Consumers like to have a drink to mark the change between work and leisure, giving rise to the rapidly growing post-work drink phenomenon," said Russell