E-Commerce Small But Growing, Commerce Department Report Says

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The Commerce Department yesterday said U.S. consumers increased their Internet purchases of goods such as books, clothing and toys during the first quarter of this year but that the Internet accounted for only a fraction of all retail sales.

E-commerce sales rose 1.2 percent during the first three months of the year to $5.26 billion, according to the department. Internet sales accounted for $5.198 billion in the fourth quarter of 1999.

Still, e-commerce was just a drop-in-the-bucket when compared to the rest of the retail world. Internet sales accounted for only 0.7 percent of the $747.8 billion in overall retail sales during the first quarter.

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