UK online retail spending hit its highest level in three years in July, helping boost overall retail sales and beating analyst estimates.
Online sales rose 6.9 per cent throughout July, according to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), marking the biggest rise online spend since May 2016.
Amazon’s Prime Day shopping event, which took place across July 15/16 was reportedly a key driver of online sales growth.
“Strong online sales growth on the month was driven by promotions,” ONS statistician Rhian Murphy said.
This helped pull up overall retail sales 0.2 per cent, well above analyst estimates of a 0.2 per cent decline.
Compared to the same period last year retail sales also rose 3.3 per cent, above estimates of a 2.6 per cent growth, despite slowing from a 3.8 per cent growth in June.
The ONS’ figures contrast sharply with the British Retail Consortium’s (BRC) recent statistics, which found that retail sales fell in the year to July at the fastest pace on record.
Also in contrast to July’s surprise increase is quarterly growth, showing that in the three months to July retail sales grew 0.5 per cent, the smallest increase this year.