Gloomy predictions about consumer spending at
Christmas had little effect on cash machine withdrawals according to
statistics from LINK, the operator of the UK cash machine network. LINK
showed that cash machines were busier than ever in the run up to and
during the festive season.
A record number of 152,929,048 withdrawals from cash machines on the
LINK network were made in December 2006. Over GBP9,767,000,000 was
withdrawn from LINK cash machines across the UK, up 7.3% compared with
2005, with consumers withdrawing an average of almost GBP64 each visit,
compared with GBP63 the year before.
It is no surprise that the week leading up to Christmas was particularly
active with over GBP2,774,000,000 withdrawn from LINK cash machines, up
10.9% compared with 2005.
There was also a final dash for cash on the Friday before Christmas – 22
December -the busiest day ever for the LINK network when the average
withdrawal rose to GBP82 and over GBP616,900,000 was withdrawn, an increase
of 10.4% on the Friday before Christmas in 2005. In the hour between 12
noon and one pm, GBP56.9 million was withdrawn, nearly GBP1 million per minute
Whilst some retailers reported a quiet start to the festive season, this
was not reflected in cash withdrawal levels. LINK saw a busy late
November and early December, then a slow down between the 4 and 10
December before acceleration as Christmas approached.
Graham Mott, Head of Planning and Development at LINK, said, “This was a
record year for seasonal cash machine transactions with figures reaching
new heights this Christmas. Despite pessimistic predictions about
consumer spending, it appears that UK consumers began their Christmas
shopping and socializing towards the end November this year.”
“As is tradition, the last Friday before Christmas was the busiest day
recorded this year despite the fact that there were still two remaining
shopping days before Christmas. It appears that people were keen to get
all their shopping out of the way and enjoy the festivities.”