By Daniel Hunter
Despite many analysts predicting a fall in UK retail sales, there was a 0.3% rise in July from June's data.
Sales volumes in the month were up 2.8% compared with a year earlier according to the figures released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
In the latest set of data released by the ONS they also adjusted June's data to show a rise of 0.8%, up from 0.1%.
The rise in spending adds to evidence that earlier estimates that the UK economy had shrunk 0.7% in the second quarter may have been too pessimistic.
“Most of this increase is the result of amplified fuel sales in the month of July. The ONS maintains that the Olympics will have had only a limited effect on this outcome, given only two days of the Games took place in July. If there is to be any evidence of an ‘Olympic effect’ lifting the economy, we should expect to see that in next month’s figures," Jeremy Cook, chief economist at foreign exchange company, World First, said.
“The fact that the rise came from fuel sales emphasises the fact that problems persist on the High Street. Both sport and leisurewear retailers have failed to capitalise on either Euro 2012 or Wimbledon this year.
“The landscape for retail sales will continue to “bump along the bottom” throughout H2, as the pressure on wages from inflation reduces the propensity of people to spend money on anything but the bare essentials.”
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