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E-Commerce Spending Heads To $170 Billion

By: David Utter

comScore Networks predicts non-travel e-commerce spending will reach $102 billion for 2006; if so, it will be the first time non-travel spending breaks the $100 billion mark.

E-Commerce Spending Heads To $170 BillionTotal online spending in e-commerce reached $80.8 billion for the first half of 2006, according to a report from comScore. Their figures exclude online auctions and large corporate purchases.

The first half of 2005 saw $67.2 billion in e-commerce spending, $30.3 billion in travel and $37.0 billion in non-travel categories. 2006 saw that increase by 20.1 percent in reaching that $80.8 billion mark.

Both categories increased from 2005, with travel moving up 14.7 percent year over year. People have not been reluctant to travel despite rising fuel, lodging, and airfare costs. Non-travel spending leaped by 24.6 percent in 2006.

2006 should see $170 billion in spending, comScore forecasted. Non-travel spending during the holiday period from November 1 " December 31 should see about $24 billion change hands from consumers to retailers.

"Despite the sluggishness of retail growth in general, online consumer spending remains strong," noted Gian Fulgoni, Chairman and Co-Founder of comScore Networks, in the report. "Growth in non-travel online spending continues at a rate of 25 percent year-over-year, which suggests that consumers online purchase behavior has been relatively unaffected by the general economic trends."

Office supplies proved to be the top retail category by growth. Spending increased for the category by 54 percent for the first half of 2006 compared year over year. Computer software, excluding games, rose by 39 percent.

The rise in office supply spending interests us. It would seem to indicate more people are going into business on a part-time or full-time basis for themselves, instead of hunting for the kind of opportunities that no longer exist with big companies.


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