This year's holiday shopping season saw a record volume of online sales, offering a wave of relief to economists worried about the state of consumer spending, which accounts for roughly two-thirds of the U.S. economy.
According to a report released Wednesday by comScore, consumers spent $35.3 billion online throughout the November-December period, marking a 15 percent increase over last year's record-breaking figure. The week leading up to Christmas also reaped a 16 percent increase in online sales over the same period last year. "Holiday ecommerce spending has remained strong throughout the season, and we have now reached a record $35 billion in U.S. online sales for the season-to-date," said comScore chairman Gian Fulgoni. "We can now say with certainty that the $1.25 billion spent on Cyber Monday will rank it as the heaviest online spending day of the season for the second consecutive year." Consumers have also been using more credit to finance their shopping this season, meaning lenders, financial institutions and debt collection agencies may see a surge in business during the first quarter of 2012.