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Online holiday spending shows continued strength

Consumer spending is up 15 percent this shopping season to date compared with 2010, according to ComScore data.

U.S. consumers continue to turn to the Internet for their holiday shopping, according to new figures released today by market researcher ComScore.

Online sales for the holiday season to date (since November 1 to Friday) totaled $24.6 billion, a 15 percent increase over the $21.4 billion spent during the same period last year, ComScore reported. Last week's spending totaled $5.9 billion, also a 15 percent increase over the corresponding period last year.

"These highlights represent another very positive sign for the holiday shopping season, as the week following 'Cyber Week' often experiences relative softness in spending momentum due to retailers pulling back on their promotional activity," ComScore chairman Gian Fulgoni said in a statement. "As we enter what will be the heaviest week of the season for online retailers--beginning with 'Green Monday' on December 12--all signs are now pointing to a strong finish to the season."

Similar to Cyber Monday, Green Monday is a term coined by eBay in 2007 to describe the second Monday in December--historically one of the heaviest online spending days of the holiday season. Last year, Green Monday logged $954 million in online sales, the second-biggest spending day of the 2010 shopping season. However, online shoppers have already spent more than $1 billion in one day five times this holiday season (see chart below), so Green Monday spending of years past is likely to pale in comparison with tomorrow's spending.

The data follows encouraging results on other key days in the holiday shopping season. Black Friday shoppers spent $816 million online, a 26 percent increase over 2010's Black Friday. Meanwhile, online sales on Cyber Monday were up 33 percent compared to Cyber Monday 2010.