U.S. online sales up again

Separate studies detailed this week reveal that U.S. online sales climbed again in July, and that Internet spending has rebounded from a lull prompted by the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Total U.S. sales in the month of August were slightly more than US$4 billion, edging out the $3.98 billion in sales registered in July, according to the Forrester Online Retail Index, published by Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Forrester Research Inc. The July figure broke a two-month slump during which online sales had decreased.

The recent tax cut given to U.S. taxpayers may have helped spur online sales, Forrester reported. The number of households shopping online increased to 14.8 million in August, an increase over the 14.7 million households that did so in July.

Forrester's Index measures the growth and seasonality of online shopping based on data collected from online shoppers.

Meanwhile, Los Angeles-based comparison shopping site BizRate.com reported that spending at Internet retail sites has rebounded to pre-attack levels, with e-tailing sites returning to 97 percent of normal sales volume on Monday, Sept. 24.

Sales had been $92.41 million on Sept. 10, and then slipped to $56.29 million on September 11, the day of the attacks on New York and Washington. By this Monday, sales were back up to $89.68 million.

BizRate.com projects that e-commerce will generate $11.55 billion in sales in the fourth quarter of this year, a 25 percent year-over-year increase.

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