Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

ComScore Finds a Glimmer of Hope: February E-Commerce Up. Has Consumer Spending Bottomed Out?

sunshine-cloudHere’s a tiny bit of sunshine, via ComScore CEO Gian Fulgoni: E-commerce sales were up two percent in February. That’s not much, but it’s better than the fourth quarter of last year, when e-commerce sales declined for the first time ever, dropping three percent.

Add February’s numbers to January’s data, which showed the same two percent growth rate, and you can make the case that we’re seeing “marginal growth” in online sales, Fulgoni said this morning at the OMMA Global Hollywood.

Best-case scenario? “Maybe we might well have bottomed out with consumer spending,” Fulgoni offered.

Now, all the caveats: ComScore (SCOR) isn’t telling us what people bought, or at what prices, so all we really know is that dollars were exchanged for goods on the Web. And while you can imagine that this data point is good news for Amazon (AMZN), since the online retailer is crushing the competition, it’s hard to point to other likely winners. And I worry that the economy has many more aftershocks, in the form of layoffs, ahead, and that’s going to drag down consumer spending again.

But I’m so starved for good news that none of these asterisks are going to keep me from enjoying this.

Meanwhile, if you have any questions for Fulgoni, email me as soon as you can: In an hour or so I’m moderating an OMMA panel with him, Citibank (C) analyst Mark Mahaney, MySpace marketing SVP Angela Courtin, tech/finance blogger Paul Kedrosky and Michael D. Kelley, a partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers. There should be some sort of blog coverage here.

[Image credit: rileyroxx]


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