Retail E-Commerce Sales Growth Slows, Up Just 1%

May 19, 2008

This article is included in these additional categories:

Retail & E-Commerce

US retail e-commerce sales for the first quarter of 2008, adjusted for seasonal variation but not for price changes, was $33.8 billion, an increase of 0.8% (+/- 1.0%) from the previous quarter, according to Census Bureau of the Department of Commerce estimates.

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That was the lowest quarterly growth since the third quarter of 2001 (-0.5%):

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E-commerce sales in the first quarter accounted for 3.3% of total retail sales (see figure, below), which in the first quarter were estimated at $1,024.2 billion, an increase of 0.1% (+/- 0.2%) from the fourth quarter of 2007.

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The first quarter 2008 e-commerce estimate increased 13.6% (+/- 1.2%) from the first quarter of 2007, while total retail sales increased 2.8% (+/- 0.2%) in the same period.

On a not-adjusted basis:

  • The estimate of US retail e-commerce sales for the first quarter of 2008 totaled $32.4 billion, a decrease of 16.9% (+/- 1.0%) from the fourth quarter of 2007.
  • The first quarter 2008 e-commerce estimate increased 13.4% (+/- 1.2%) from the first quarter of 2007 while total retail sales increased 3.7% (+/- 0.2%) in the same period.
  • E-commerce sales in the first quarter of 2008 accounted for 3.4% of total sales.

Notice of Revision: Quarterly retail e-commerce estimates were revised based on the results of the 2006 Annual Retail Trade Survey. Not adjusted and adjusted estimates were revised for fourth quarter 1999 through fourth quarter 2007.

Note: According to the Dept. of Commerce, e-commerce sales are sales of goods and services where an order is placed by the buyer or price and terms of sale are negotiated over an internet, extranet, electronic data interchange (EDI) network, electronic mail, or other online system. Payment may or may not be made online.

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