Growing fears of an impending economic crisis in the new year apparently led to weaker-than-expected U.S. online holiday sales results.
Consumers spent $42.3 billion online during the November-December holiday shopping season, a 14 percent increase over 2011, according to data released today by ComScore. While online shopping set some spending records, overall growth was largely flat, the market analyst concluded.
"This year's growth rate is essentially on a par with last year's," ComScore Chairman Gian Fulgoni said in a statement. "But despite many positives for the online sector, this year's season did not quite perform up to our initial expectation for growth rates in excess of 16 percent as we fell a billion dollars short of our expected total of $43.4 billion."