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Last year's online shopping boom was merely a warm up for the huge spend-fest that will be online Christmas 2000.

A Goldman Sachs/PC Data survey found that spending by Americans had nearly tripled. In the second week of November last year shoppers parted with $222 million in exchange for online goods. This year the stats are from the to the first week in November, but the amount spent was already up to a whopping $695 million.

Cameron Meierhoefer, Internet analyst for PC Data Online commented: "Online consumer spending in travel could be four times what it was last year at this time, while online apparel spending could be ten times what it was in 1999."

Last year introduced online shopping to a whole load of new people, the researchers said, but this year will blow 1999 out of the water. There are more people buying online and the amount that each person is spending has gone up too, the researchers said.

The companies will be reporting spending figures on a regular basis in the run up to Christmas. ®

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Americans stuff $11.6bn into Xmas e-tail stocking

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