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Retail E-Commerce Growth Outpacing The Pack

Momentum in retail e-commerce sales continues to grow, according to stats released today by the U.S. Census Bureau. Preliminary first-quarter 2005 retail e-commerce statistics show a growth of 24 percent on a year-over-year basis.

First-quarter retail sales of all stripes usually are less than those for the boisterous holiday fourth-quarter period.

On a non-adjusted basis, U.S. retail e-commerce sales fell in the first quarter by 10.8 percent to 19.2 billion from $21.6 billion in the fourth quarter of 2004. That sales figure was adjusted upwards from the preliminary estimate of $21.4 billion, which was released in February. Overall, retail sales declined in the first quarter by 10.5 percent to $853.2 billion in sales on a non-adjusted basis.

On an adjusted basis "for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences, but not for price changes," the Census Bureau reported that retail e-commerce grew by 6.4 percent from the fourth quarter of 2004. In comparison, retail sales as a whole on an adjusted basis only grew by 1.5 percent.

As a percentage of total retail sales, e-commerce continues to keep pace. On a non-adjusted basis, the sector represented 2.3 percent of all retail sales, unchanged from the fourth quarter of 2004. On an adjusted basis, e-commerce actually nudged up a bit to 2.2 percent, up from 2.1 percent the previous quarter, and 2 percent in the third quarter of 2004.