Many hotels, restaurants and pubs could "catch a cold" over Christmas and the New Year, says a report out tomorrow.
The study, from economic consultancy Business Strategies, forecasts that the rate of growth in the amount of money spent on catering will slow over the final quarter of 1999.
The amount is forecast to rise by just over 7% in the final quarter compared with the same period last year.
This compares with 9% growth in the third quarter and rises of 11% in both the first and second quarters.
Author of the report Melanie Lansbury claimed customers had been scared off by high prices over the holiday period.
"More and more people are choosing to celebrate with friends and family at home," she said.
*Consumer Market Outlook is available from Business Strategies on 020 7630 5959.