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Research: Online Sales To Surpass $300 Billion By 2010

By Agence France-Presse U.S. online retail sales are on a strong growth track and will likely hit $316 billion by 2010, according to Forrester Research. The Cambridge, Mass.-based technology research firm pegged U.S. online sales at some $144 billion this year, and sees a 14% annual growth rate that would bring the Internet sector to some 12% of all U.S. retail sales, from less than 2% currently. Surveys of online spending vary greatly, with differing definitions of the holiday season and online purchases. Government figures, for example, exclude travel bookings and some other online services. U.S. government data showed 2003 online sales at $54.9 billion, representing about 1.6% of all retail sales last year. By Forrester's calculation, online retail sales will make up 7% of the total for the United States in 2004. Forrester identifies travel as one of the biggest categories, growing to some $119 billion by 2010, to be followed by home products ($43 billion), and apparel ($28 billion). Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2004

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