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E-Commerce and Internet Use

The U.S. Bureau of the Census published the most recent e-commerce retail sales report today. In the 2nd quarter of the year, e-commerce sales were 9 percent of total retail sales. This is an increase from the 2nd quarter of last year when e-commerce sales were 8.2 percent of total retail sales. A chart from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis showing e-commerce as a percentages of total retail sales over time is shown below.


Another chart produced by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis shows the dollar amounts of e-commerce retail sales in each quarter since 2000. In the most recent quarter, e-commerce sales were $120.445 billion, up over 15% from $104.407 billion during the same quarter in 2017.



In a related topic, earlier this month the U.S. Bureau of the Census posted a new report about computer and Internet usage. The website summary of the report reads,

The presence and use of computers has grown considerably over the past few decades. In 1984, 8 percent of households reported owning a computer according to the Current Population Survey (CPS). By 2015, however, the percentage of households with a computer had increased almost tenfold to 79 percent. Like computer use, the percentage of households using the Internet has also increased over time. This report uses data from the CPS to provide historical context and data from the American Community Survey to highlight characteristics that are more current.

A chart from the report showing trends in survey responses (American Community Survey, or ACS, and Current Population Survey, or CPS) is shown below. The full report is available on the U.S. Bureau of the Census website.

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