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Jet-setting around the world, restaurant dining, sipping champagne and oversized designer handbags. All this glitz and glamour was once the reserve of the rich and famous, but latest research from MINTEL’s flagship British Lifestyles report shows that, in Britain today, even your average Joe is enjoying a taste of this luxury lifestyle. Despite rising interest rates, higher fuel costs and an uncertain housing market, Brits spent more in 2006 than in the previous year. Last year, consumer expenditure hit £1.09 trillion, up a healthy 9% on 2005 figures. This compares to a 6% growth in consumer spend between 2004 and 2005.