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U.S. 3Q e-Commerce Sets New Retail Record

Reuters reports that U.S. retail sales transacted via the Internet and other electronic networks gained 4.5 percent in the third quarter from the second quarter and accounted for a record 2.8 percent of total retail sales in the period, according to a government study.

E-commerce sales surged 20.9 percent in the third quarter compared to a year ago. E-commerce sales gains of more than 20 percent on a year-on-year basis have been the norm in recent quarters, the U.S. Commerce Department said.

Total retail sales grew 0.7 percent in the third quarter from the prior quarter. Sales via the Internet and other electronic means totaled a seasonally adjusted $27.5 billion in the third quarter, which is a small chunk of total sales at $991.7 billion.

But the 2.8 percent share is a record high, up slightly from the prior record of 2.7 percent in the previous quarter. E-commerce sales include goods and services bought over the Internet but exclude online travel services, ticket sales, and financial services.

The U.S. government began collecting this data in 1999. It currently collects data from an 11,000 sample of retail firms, that the government estimates to total about 2 million.

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