Economy Watch: Internet Sales Keep Climbing

By D.C. Stribling Image via Flickr Creative Commons user Intel Free Press Since the dawn of Internet commerce, seasonally adjusted sales using that platform have moved in one direction: up.  That trend continued in the second quarter, the Census Bureau reported on Thursday, with U.S. retail e-commerce sales up 4.8 percent compared with

Image via Flickr Creative Commons user Intel Free Press
Image via Flickr Creative Commons user Intel Free Press

Since the dawn of Internet commerce, seasonally adjusted sales using that platform have moved in one direction: up. 

That trend continued in the second quarter, the Census Bureau reported on Thursday, with U.S. retail e-commerce sales up 4.8 percent compared with the first quarter. (Unadjusted Internet sales tend to bottom out in the first quarter and peak in the fourth, like all retail sales.)

Year-Over-Year Jump

As usual, the bureau adjusts for seasonal variation, but not for price changes, which have been fairly modest in recent years. Altogether, second-quarter Internet sales totaled $111.5 billion. That’s also a 16.2 percent increase from the same period one year ago.

By contrast, total retail sales for the second quarter of 2017 were estimated at nearly $1.3 trillion, an 0.5 percent increase from the first quarter of 2017.

As of the second quarter, Internet purchases accounted for roughly 8 percent of all retail sales, the bureau said. At the current pace, adjusted e-commerce sales volume is on track to reach 10 percent of sales within a year. Ten years ago, Internet transactions accounted for only about 3.5 percent of retail sales.