A new report into the future of the UK pub market had predicted it will suffer another downturn in turnover. The Public Houses report from analysts Key Note said that while the scale of the economic downturn is “currently unclear”, consumer confidence is “falling steeply, as are sales of beer in pubs”. The report said: “These trends, along with the full effects of the smoking ban having yet to be measured, have led Key Note to forecast a further decline in pub turnover in 2008, similar to the decline seen in 2007. The increase in sales of take-home alcohol has affected demand for drinking in pubs Key Note add. The report states: “A combination of negative factors has forced Key Note to predict a downturn in pub sales for the next two years, followed by a modest improvement between 2010 and 2012. “Beyond 2009, a moderate recovery is predicted for the industry as pubs continue to adapt to new consumer demands (e.g. for food, wines and live entertainment) and to various government restrictions.” Key Note says the pub market is still “vast”, with an estimated value of £16bn in 2007, a fall of 1.5% from 2006. The rise of the gastropub and the continuing segmentation of pubs “may well have aided their endurance”. But Key Note add : “While the demand for pubs and their services has remained fairly stable, factors such as the erosion of the brewery tie makes it harder for some pubs to justify their existence, and much of the heavy ‘session’ drinking has shifted from pubs to the home. “The increase in sales of take-home alcohol has affected demand for drinking in pubs, particularly as there is a growing differential between supermarket and pub prices.” Meanwhile, a survey of 983 British adults by Key Note found a growing trend towards drinking at weekends and eating in pubs.