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Spending boost post-Base Rate cut

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Spending levels has been strong this Christmas, according to data covering cash withdrawals from 64,000 cash machines all over the UK.

New research from LINK, a UK ATM network, shows daily average cash withdrawals so far this month are up 7% this month on November. Over the month of December, more than £3.2 billion has been withdrawn from LINK cash machines, an increase of £140 million on the same period in 2006.

In previous years, this data has been an accurate indicator of retail spending, according to LINK.

Richard Snook, an economist at the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) who has examined the LINK data, said: “The evidence so far from the LINK network is that despite the current economic uncertainty in the housing and credit markets, consumers are confidently withdrawing money, which we believe points to a good Christmas in store for retailers.

“Consumer confidence is also likely to have been boosted by last week’s timely interest rate cut by the Bank of England. Data for this period show that cash withdrawals since Friday 7 December have been particularly high, suggesting that mortgage holders may have been encouraged to spend more freely following the rate cut.”

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