Cost of pint
Britons drank less billions fewer units of alcohol in 2013 than a decade earlier Reuters

Britons drank billions fewer pints of beer, glasses of wine and shots of spirits over the last 10 years, a trade body report has revealed.

Figures released by the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA ) show alcohol consumption in the UK shrank by 2.1% in 2013 compared with the year before.

In total, Britons drank more than seven billion fewer units of alcohol in 2013, compared with 2004 - almost one fifth less. Alcohol consumption per head was 7.7 litres – the lowest level this century.

Alcohol sales contribute £21.4bn to Treasury coffers and George Osborne recently shaved 1p off beer duty.

The data was compiled by the BBPA from data published in the HMRC Alcohol Bulletin and is based on the total amount of alcohol sold in the UK that is liable to tax. It is not based on sampled or survey data.

Brigid Simmonds, BBPA chief executive, said: "We have now experienced a decade of falling alcohol consumption. While total consumption per head is not synonymous with alcohol-related harm, these are interesting figures, as the percentage of those drinking at harmful levels has also been falling, as have the number of under-18s drinking."

"The industry will continue to work to tackle alcohol misuse, but there are several encouraging trends, and accurate and up-to-date figures are important for the debate around alcohol."