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Massive ecommerce spending boom predicted

Jump of 300 per cent to hit next year

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Online shoppers are expected to spend $31.2 billion this year -- an increase of nearly 300 per cent on last year. Such explosive growth is nothing compared to what analysts at Dataquest think will happen in the next couple of years. According to these Net watchers, by 2003 the figure is expected to exceed $380 billion. They reckon the US is on pace to generate $20.5 billion this year and almost $150 billion by 2003. And the European business-to-consumer ecommerce market is projected to grow from $5.4 billion this year to more than $115 billion in 2003. Dataquest claims Europe's growth has been buoyed by the falling cost of Net access and the development of country and language-specific sites dedicated to serving e-shoppers not necessarily catered for by established US e-outfits. Blaine Mathieu, senior industry analyst for Dataquest's ecommerce worldwide programme said: "The reduced costs of Internet access and the growth of locally-based online merchants will drive the birth of large-scale e-tailing throughout the world." ® Tune into Cash Register and turn on to our daily Net Finance News -- but only if you want to.

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