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-- Anonymous, March 13, 2001


MARCH 07, 15:14 EST

Census Bureau Reports on E-commerce

By D. IAN HOPPER Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) In its first-ever report on e-commerce activity, the Census Bureau found that in 1999 about one-half of 1 percent of all retail sales took place on the Internet. Business-to-business deals accounted for more than 90 percent of the online sales.

The report released Wednesday showed that the dollar value of e- commerce activity varied significantly among different sectors, although almost all industry groups were engaged in e-commerce to some degree.

Twelve percent, or $485 billion, of the total value of all manufacturing shipments were sold electronically. Merchant wholesalers came in second at 5.3 percent, and service industries including travel services, brokerages and publishing had 0.6 of their sales values online.

Manufacturing companies and wholesalers have used proprietary networks such as the Electronic Data Interchange that pre-date the widespread usage of the Internet. This, the report states, is one of the reasons why business-driven firms sell so much more online than do consumer-driven companies.

Among retail sellers, companies that use the Internet and catalogs sell online more than their brick-and-mortar counterparts. Of those, the most popular products are computer hardware, followed by books and magazines, the report says.

The report only includes 1999 figures, although 1998 data will be available next week. The Census Bureau collated the data from five separate surveys done by the agency, all conducted independently.

On the Net:

Census Bureau E-Stats: http://www.census.gov/estats/

-- Anonymous, March 24, 2001

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