Alcohol consumption fell by 3.2% in 2008 compared to last year, according to new figures compiled by the British Beer & Pub Association .
The BBPA is using the data from HM Revenue & Customs to argue against government plans for alcohol duty hikes.
The government 's own figures show that the drop would have saved the economy £804 million in reduced alcohol-related harm, the BBPA claims.
"These figures show that the persistent perception of rising alcohol consumption in the UK is false," said director of communications Mark Hastings.
"Based on the government's own method of calculating alcohol-related harm, the figures show that current trends are cutting billions from the nation's alcohol harm bill.
"This calls into question the case for pressing ahead with [the government's plan] for further punitive
The figures also show:
Alcohol consumption was 6% lower in 2008 than in 2004 - 8.9 litres per head against 9.5 litres per head
Consumption has fallen by 4.6% since the introduction of the Licensing Act in 2005, resulting in a saving to the economy of £2.3 billion over the last three years.
The current reduced level of consumption in 2008 could save the economy £8 billion over
Of 20 countries where comparable data is available, the UK ranks only
14th in alcohol consumption per head - well behind
levels in France and Germany.