Survey: More in Northeast Will Shop Online

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Consumer confidence in the Internet has risen 34 percentage points since early September in the Northeast, the region worst hit by the terrorist attacks and anthrax scare, according to the Yahoo/ACNielsen Internet Confidence Index.


The findings, announced this week, showed an uptick in consumer confidence since the previous survey, done just before Sept. 11. The index rose 9 percentage points nationally in the six weeks from early September to the October special edition of the study.


The index also found that online users nationwide intend to buy online during the fourth quarter, rising to 60 percent in the October edition from 54 percent in September. They even plan $1 billion more in holiday-related spending than previously projected.


Despite security issues topping the news, 84 percent of the online users surveyed said they were shopping on the Internet not simply because of concerns over shopping in public places. This group buys online because of an increased comfort with the Internet, the survey found.


The index projects total online spending this fourth quarter at $17.5 billion, up 9 percent from $16 billion forecast in early September. The Northeast is likely to fuel this increased spending. In the latest index, 65 percent of respondents from that region intend to shop online, compared with 45 percent in the September version.


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