February 4, 2011, 3:22 PM

January e-commerce spending rose 12%, MasterCard says

That marked the third consecutive month of double-digit growth.

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Online spending in January rose 12% year over year, marking the third consecutive month of double-digit growth, according to an estimate released today by MasterCard Advisors, the consulting arm of MasterCard.

 “A combination of rising consumer demand and strong pricing continued to drive retail sales in January,” says Michael McNamara, vice president, research and analysis for MasterCard Advisors SpendingPulse. “Although less robust, the trends we observed were similar to those recorded in the fourth quarter of 2010.”

Online spending during the holidays totaled $36.4 billion, up 15.5% from $31.5 billion in 2009, according to MasterCard Advisors.

The apparel category saw the strongest year-over-year growth at 15% in January. And with the exception of women’s clothing, all apparel sub-categories posted double-digit growth.

Online electronics sales also grew in January, up 6.1% compared to 2010.

The only category that posted a year-over-year decline was jewelry, which reversed a strong December.

MasterCard bases its estimates on data from the MasterCard credit and debit card network and survey data from other sources.

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