Official figures showed sales volumes rising by 0.7 per cent from the previous month, well ahead of the 0.2 per cent growth anticipated by analysts and more than reversing the 0.5 per cent fall in June.

The quantity bought was up 3.5 per cent from the same period last year, fuelling hopes of a recovery in consumer spending. Further evidence emerged of changing shopping habits, with non-store sales volumes rising by 4.9 per cent from June and by 16.9 per cent from last year, its biggest increase since last September.

 

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