UK consumer spending so far this Christmas is 2.8% higher than last year, early indications suggest, with GBP1.4bn (US$2.3bn) set to be spent on clothing over the festive period.

According to Barclaycard, which processes nearly half of all the UK's debit and credit card transactions, a further GBP740m is likely to be spent at department stores.

Shopping will reach a peak in the busy final weekend before Christmas, with consumers updating their festive wardrobes and buying last-minute gifts. Over 15m adults (31%) plan to shop on Saturday (21 December) and spend an average of GBP196 each.

Figures from Barclays predict that a total of GBP47bn will be spent on debit cards during December this year.