Where are the last of the big spenders in the UK?

With a small break in the weather between Arctic blasts, the last week has seen us hit the shops with a vigour we haven't felt in months, and the level of spending has been phenomenal. Even with the icy weather a study by Barclays predicts we will spend an astonishing £48.9 billion over Christmas - that's up 8% from last year.

But the study doesn't stop there. It also reveals where and when we're doing our shopping, and where the last of the big spenders in the UK have been parting with their cash. So where are the shopping hotspots?

Where and when?
The study reckons that the quieter high streets earlier in the month will simply mean that they will be even busier as we draw nearer to Christmas as consumers cram in their Christmas shopping. The busiest day for debit card spending will be the 23rd December when it is predicted that over £1 billion will be spent. ATMs will be busiest on the 24th December, peaking between 11am and 12pm lunchtime with customers withdrawing £88 million - a rate of over £24,000 per second.

In total, a record £30 billion will be spent on debit cards throughout December. Despite the weather, most spending will still be done on the high street with online shopping only accounting for just over a quarter of this debit card spend. The majority of debit card spending will be in supermarkets (£6.4 billion) as people stock up on sprouts and Christmas puddings for their festive feasts. Petrol stations will account for £1.6 billion fuelling the great Christmas getaway. An equally staggering £18 billion is expected to be withdrawn from ATMs and banks throughout December.

The December figures are also likely to be boosted by post-Christmas spending. Many bargain hunters are likely to make the most of the sales on the extra bank holiday days and may be encouraged to splash out on larger purchases before the end of the year to avoid paying extra when VAT increases to 20 per cent in January.

But where are we spending this cash?
It will come as no surprise that London will be the number one city for spending in the UK. The likes of Oxford Street and Westfield will attract over £5 billion of spending throughout December. Birmingham and Sheffield are also likely to see significant spending with over £1 billion and £800 million respectively going through the tills in these cities.

Dan Wass, Director of Current Accounts at Barclays said: "We urge customers to stay safe in busy areas and encourage them to use their debit cards rather than carrying large amounts of cash. Nearly all shops, restaurants, bars and online companies accept debit cards so it is the easiest way to get your Christmas spending done quickly and securely. We would remind customers to take care of their card and their PIN, especially when using their PIN in crowded places."

The cities where we spend the most cash
London £5307.8 million
Birmingham £1089.8 million
Sheffield £878.6 million
Newcastle £864.3 million
Nottingham £833.3 million
Reading £760 million
Guildford £752.2 million
Glasgow £749.6 million
Bristol £738.1 million
Edinburgh 734.1 million

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