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A monthly estimate of online spending by U.S. consumers suggests that Internet shoppers forked out about the same amount in July - nearly $4 billion - as they did during the same period a year ago.
The result might not be particularly exciting, but with overall spending by U.S. consumers growing at less than half the rate it did a year ago, online retailers might have expected worse.
Forrester Research said online spending reached $3.98 billion in July. In July 2000, the Forrester Online Retail Index, which the New York company compiles in partnership with Greenfield Online, logged sales of $4.03 billion.
But July sales this year represented a healthy increase over the previous month, during which Forrester said consumers spent $3.2 billion. In 2000, the June-July difference was just $20 million.
Forrester said the number of households shopping online in July totaled 14.7 million, up from 13.1 million in June.
On average, the company said, each household spent $270 online during July, up from $247 the previous month.