comScore Networks today released year-to-date consumer spending figures, which showed that online non-travel spending is up 33 percent for the first three weeks in January 2006 versus corresponding days in 2005. Online non-travel spending during this time period (January 1 - 20, 2006) totaled $5.5 billion, representing a 33-percent increase over the $4.1 billion posted during the corresponding period in 2005. Online travel spending generated an additional $3.5 billion during the first three weeks of 2006, up 8 percent versus corresponding days in 2005.

The growth in 2006 online consumer spending follows a year of solid gains. Total online spending for the full year 2005, including travel, reached $143.2 billion, up 22 percent over 2004. Online non-travel spending in 2005 accounted for $82.3 billion, an increase of 24 percent over 2004 levels.

The 2006 year opened on a strong note, with solid growth of 33 percent in online non-travel sales versus the same period in 2005," said Gian Fulgoni, chairman of comScore Networks. "It's clear based on what we're seeing so far in 2006 that the strength in online sales will not wane anytime soon."

An analysis of sales growth for select product categories revealed that Event Tickets was one of the fastest growing categories in January, surging 50 percent above corresponding days in 2005 to $193.3 million. Consumer Electronics were also up strongly, with sales for the first three weeks of January rising 43 percent above corresponding days last year to $271.5 million.

As the traditional post-holiday battle of the bulge kicked in this month, consumers also spent on fitness-related items, with sales in the Sports & Fitness category reaching $72.6 million, up 41 percent versus last year. Continuing the momentum seen during the 2005 holiday season, online sales of Apparel and Accessories continued at a brisk pace, rising 38 percent above last year to $727.3 million.