Online retail spending hits three-year high

Online spending has risen 18 percent to make July the most valuable month of 2010 for retailers, with growth reaching pre-recession levels

Online spending has beaten recession-era levels, with £5bn in spending and record year-on-year growth, according to the latest figures from the IMRG/Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index.

The index, released on Friday, shows that online sales in July grew 18 percent year-on-year — the best performance for the month since 2007 — with month-on-month growth at 14 percent. Shoppers spent an average of £81 each in July.

Growth was driven by travel bookings, which were up 18 percent since July 2009. The index found more people were buying items from gift websites, with gift sales up 26 percent. Electrical items saw a 17-percent increase. Lingiere pulled up slightly at 9 percent. Sales of beers, wines and spirits were down 9 percent.

"Our research shows that online spending is continuing to fare well in the unstable economic climate, with July's uplift driven by savvy consumers seeking the best of the seasonal bargains on the internet," said Bruce Fair, managing director for price-comparison site Kelkoo UK, in a statement.

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