Online retailers are set to generate over £40bn in UK sales this year, according to new figures.

The data, totted up from the Office for National Statistics’ retail spending numbers and published by USwitch, points to increased broadband uptake as the main reason behind the windfall.

It would represent growth of around a third from last year.

But other stats suggest the prediction might even be a bit cautious. Back in April, the IMRG forecast that £42bn would be spent on the web by British shoppers in 2007, up from £30.2bn in 2006.

And that was before the bad weather in the summer - coupled with other factors – helped produce some record-busting figures for the sector.

Sales reportedly increased by over 50% in Q2, for example, and then by 80% in July.

Related research:

Internet Stats Compendium, Nov 2007

E-commerce Platform Buyer’s Guide 2007