Euro zone retail sales rose in July, but by less than expected because of a continued slump in demand for non-food products, data form the EU's statistics office Eurostat showed today.

Eurostat said retail sales in the 19 countries sharing the euro, a proxy for consumer demand, increased 0.3% month-on-month in July for a 0.9% year-on-year fall.

Economists polled by Reuters had expected a 0.4% monthly rise and a 0.7% year-on-year decline.

Eurostat said sales of non-food products, excluding automotive fuel, fell 0.4% month-on-month for a 0.9% annual decline.

Sales of automotive fuels rose 0.4% on the month and 0.6% on the year.