Online Spending Forecast to be Flat through Holidays
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 1 December, 2008 : - - Online spending for the first 23 days of November declined 4% to $8.2 billion versus the corresponding days last year, according to the Internet measurement firm comScore.
"Despite the recent reprieve that plummeting gas prices have given American consumers, the depressed and volatile stock market, declining housing prices, inflation and the weak job market all represent dark clouds hanging over their heads this holiday shopping season,” said comScore chairman, Gian Fulgoni.
“With consumer confidence low and disposable income tight, the first weeks of November have been very disappointing, with online retail spending declining versus year ago. It’s also likely that some budget-conscious consumers are planning to wait to buy until later in the season to take advantage of retailers’ even more aggressive discounting.”
ComScore’s forecast is that holiday online retail spending for the November – December period will be flat versus year ago, significantly lower than last year’s growth rate of 19% and below the retail e-commerce growth rate of 9% that has been observed for 2008 year-to-date.
“Assuming the stock market doesn’t deteriorate materially during the season and that there is no apocalyptic news of major financial institutions, manufacturers or retailers failing, we should see online spending growth inch back towards positive as we get deeper into the season,” added Fulgoni. “However, if there is any more significant bad news just over the horizon, all bets are off.”
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