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Consumers Spent $2.8 Billion Online Last Month
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — U.S. consumers spent $2.8 billion online in January, mostly on airline tickets, computer hardware and books, according to a survey released on Wednesday.

The results are the first from a survey, called the NRF/Forrester Online Retail Index, to measure monthly online retail spending that will be conducted in conjunction with Greenfield Online, an online market research firm.

It was done by the National Retail Federation trade group and independent research firm Forrester Research.

"Shopping online is here to stay, as evidenced by the fact that in January online consumers spent more than half of what was spent online during the entire holiday season," David Cooperstein, director of Forrester's Online retail research, said in a statement.

Results from the first NRF/Forrester Research Index indicate that certain categories, such as media and travel, are maintaining their lead in e-commerce purchases. Media products, such as books, music, videos, and software, accounted for $653.6 million, or 23.3 percent of the purchases in January, the survey said.

The combined air, hotel, and car rental business booked online in January equals $582.8 million, or nearly 21 percent of all online purchases in the month, the survey said.

According to Forrester research, consumer spending increased to $20.2 billion in 1999 from $2.4 billion in 1997.

The NRF/Forrester Online Retail Index is based on 5,000 responses to an online panel conducted by Greenfield Online during the first 10 business days of each month.

Consumers for the January 2000 survey were polled from Feb. 3, 2000, through Feb. 14, 2000.

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