US online sales hit $US5.5B in Q2

Online retail sales totaled $US5.52 billion, or about 0.68 per cent of the value of all retail sales in the US during the second quarter of this year, the Census Bureau said. The figure compares with an estimated $US5.24 billion in online retail sales in the first quarter, or about 0.7 per cent of all retail sales.

The figures are derived from a survey of 12,000 statistically selected retailers, whose sales are weighted to represent the more than two million retailers in the US, a spokeswoman for the Census Bureau said. Every quarter, new businesses are selected and added to the survey to ensure that the sample contains businesses of all sizes and from each retail industry, the spokeswoman added.

Online retailers, mail order companies, furniture stores, hardware stores, building materials dealers, new car dealers, groceries and department and apparel stores, were among the retailers surveyed. Online travel services, financial brokers and ticket-sales agencies were not included.

The strongest growth in online sales was in cars, sporting goods and apparel, according to a US Department of Commerce news release.

The quarterly online sales survey is part of the Commerce Department's scientific survey on the effect of electronic commerce on the current US economic expansion. The retail e-commerce sales estimate for the third quarter is scheduled for release in November 2000.

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Margret Johnston

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