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First Cut: E-commerce took a 9.9% share of all retail in 4Q 2018

The quarterly data on e-commerce showed that its share of all retail spending continues to grow, rising to 9.9% in the fourth quarter 2018. Total retail spending was at $1345.243 billion in the fourth quarter, of which e-commerce accounted for $132.830 billion.

However, it is possible that its steady rise as a percentage of all sales may be slowing, if not topping out. E-commere sales were up 2.0% in the fourth quarter over the third, but lower than another other quarter in 2018. Compared to a year-ago e-commerce was up 12.1% in the fourth quarter, it lowest gain since 2009. Some of this may be attributable to generally soft retail spending in the fourth quarter, but it may also be possible that consumers have found their comfort level with buying on-line.

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