Retail sales volume in the UK grew by 0.3 percent month-on-month in July, better than the anticipated contraction and welcome news for embattled retailers struggling in a difficult trading environment.

Excluding fuel sales, the seasonally adjusted figure is unchanged on June, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). However many retailers were expecting a drop in sales as the UK recession worsened.

The London 2012 Olympic Games started at the end of July, but initial signs suggest that the event has not been a boost for retailers.

"Feedback from retailers suggests that there has been no impact on sales from the Games in this trading period," said the ONS.

June's retail sales figure was revised up to 0.8 percent from the initial estimate of 0.1 percent. This may have a slight upward impact on appalling second quarter GDP data, which showed a -0.7 percent decline in overall output from the UK economy.