InvisibleHand, the online real-time price comparison tool, has just released some statistics which it has interpreted as suggesting that the 2010 VAT increase has not dampened consumer spending.

InvisibleHand's research - covering over 100,000 online shopping experiences - shows a 27% increase in shopping activity during the first 10 days of January compared to the 10 days before Christmas.

"Many speculators and soothsayers were convinced that the VAT increase would depress online consumer spending and that we would see shopping figures plummet after 1 January", says Robin Landy, founder of InvisibleHand.

"Our figures show this has simply not been the case. People have continued shopping online regardless of the extra cost of purchases and many retailers will be pleasantly surprised at the sustained spending and browsing that has continued well after the Christmas peak".

It is, perhaps, possible that the "shopping activity" increase in January would have been higher than 27% if it weren't for the VAT increase, but, hair splitting aside, it gives a clear indication that people are still going shopping and buying stuff - stop press you might think - but an indication that as far as the economy goes, it looks like things are on the up.