September 3, 2002, 12:00 AM

E-spending’s boost predicts higher near-term stock market, comScore says

ComScore tracked online spending growth for four months and says it leads stock market movement by two weeks. The latest: online retail spending was up 43% for the week that ended Aug. 18.

Kurt Peters

Executive Editor

 

Consumers’ online retail spending for the week that ended Aug. 18 increased 43% over the same week a year ago to $790 million, comScore Networks Inc.’s Media Metrix division reported today. The growth represents the continuation of strong growth in online sales this year vs. a year earlier.

Travel spending the same week was up 58% vs. a year ago to $677 million.

In an interesting bit of analysis, comScore reports that its four-month tracking of online spending compared against the Dow Jones Industrial Average shows that online buying is a two-week leading indicator of the Dow’s movement. “Why the correlation? One hypothesis held at comScore is that online consumers are early adopters who react quickly to economic forces,” comScore says.

ComScore also reports that college students represent 7% of the U.S. Internet audience and that the average college student spends 10.4 hours online each week, 22% more than average at-home users and 6% more than average at-work users.

The top retail site for college students is cdnow.com, which 15% of college users visited last week for an average of 19.4 minutes. The fast-growing site visited by college students last week was TigerDirect.com, the computer hardware and electronics retailer, where traffic increased 242% to 188,018 visitors.

 

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