What Recession? U.S. Holiday Online Spending Up 15%

December 18, 2011Personal Financeby EW News Desk Team


Americans are celebrating the festive season by shopping. According to the latest comScore results, Americans spent nearly $31 billion in online shopping, a 15 percent increase from a year ago.

The most recent work week (Dec. 12-16) saw four days surpass $1 billion in online spending, led by Monday, December 12 with $1.13 billion and Friday, December 16 (known by the online retail industry as “Free Shipping Day”) with $1.07 billion, according to comScore.

Free Shipping Day, now in its fourth year, is a one-day, online-shopping event when thousands of merchants offer free shipping with delivery by Christmas Eve.

“More than $1 billion in spending on Free Shipping Day put the exclamation point on what will almost certainly be the heaviest week of the online holiday shopping season,” said Gian Fulgoni, chairman of comSore.

While next week may see another strong day or two at the beginning of the week, it’s clear that we have now reached the crescendo for this season and that spending will begin to slow as we get closer to Christmas.

While the spending figures may indicate a higher level of consumer confidence as we head into the New Year, a recent Federal Reserve report showed that U.S. consumer credit rose for the second consecutive month in October – a month marked by Thanksgiving shopping and precedes Christmas spending – a sign that Americans are taking on more debt to pay for their purchases.

Related: Americans spending more on credit, taking on higher debt

In a separate report, research and consulting company YouGov said last week that Christmas spending is set to send one in three Britons into debt, as nearly 31 percent of UK respondents (of the survey) indicated that they would use overdrafts, credit cards, and personal loans in order to fulfill their Christmas shopping.

Of these, 58 percent are expected to use their credit cards to fund their purchases.

Related: Christmas spending to send 1 in 3 Britons into debt

Related: A dozen alarming consumer debt statistics

Related Slideshow: 12 Shocking Personal Finance Statistics

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