NEW YORK – Consumers are splurging online. Americans spent more than $4.5 billion online during the first three weeks of November, according to the eSpending Report from Goldman Sachs & Company, Harris Interactive, and Nielsen/NetRatings. Boosted by a 29% increase year-over-year, online shoppers spent more than $1 billion more this year than in the first three weeks of November 2001. The eSpending Report also showed that spending per person increased to nearly $88 during the week ending November 22, which is 8% stronger than last year. Shoppers surveyed said that they allocated 19% of their budget for online purchases, increasing slightly from 2001. "Despite the continued economic instability, holiday shoppers have opened up their pocketbooks online," said Lisa Strand, director and chief e-commerce analyst, Nielsen/NetRatings.

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