UK retail benefits from online shopping in July

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A member of staff pushes a trolley as she collects orders at Amazon’s fulfillment center in Peterborough, central England November 28, 2013. REUTERS/Phil Noble

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LONDON, Aug 19 (Reuters) – British shoppers spent more than expected last month as many were lured by online shopping promotions, despite a weaker picture recently as households battled inflation the highest for more than 40 years, according to official figures released on Friday.

Retail sales volumes, adjusted for inflation and time of year, rose 0.3% in July after a downwardly revised decline of 0.2% in June, the report said. the Office for National Statistics.

Sales fell 1.2% over the past three months and were 3.4% lower than a year ago.

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Economists polled by Reuters had forecast a monthly decline of 0.2% in sales volumes and an annual decline of 3.3%.

“Online sales picked up this month as retailers told us sales had been boosted by a range of offers and promotions. However, fuel sales fell, with some evidence suggesting the very hot has resulted in fewer people traveling,” said ONS statistician Darren Morgan.

Amazon (AMZN.O) held its annual Prime Day promotion last month, which has coincided in previous years with an increase in UK retail sales, although the ONS said higher spending was seen by a range online retailers, especially for household items.

However, the long-term trend in sales was down, the ONS said, and the Bank of England warned that high inflation risks tipping Britain into recession later this year.

Consumer price inflation jumped to an annual rate of 10.1% in July, its highest level since 1982, from 9.4% in June, driven by an increase in food prices in addition to strong previous increases in household energy bills.

A GfK consumer survey earlier on Friday showed households were “frustrated” with the soaring cost of living, and sentiment was the weakest since the series began in 1974. read more

Supermarkets have already signaled shoppers are switching to cheaper produce, and the Icelandic frozen food chain said earlier this week it would provide interest-free loans of up to 100 pounds ($119) to its most expensive customers. poor.

($1 = 0.8398 pounds)

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Reporting by David Milliken; edited by William Schomberg and William James

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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