Study plays down future growth of e-commerce

- New research has poured cold water on optimistic forecasts about the growth of commerce on the internet. The report, published by De Montfort University, ridicules the idea that a billion people will be online by 2000 and claims that "evidence from the US shows that the ceiling may already have been reached." Professor Paul Foley said: "Forecasts of prodigious growth were based on extrapolating earlier rapid growth trends." Surveys identified in the research show the proportion of people buying over the internet stabilising at 15-19 per cent, or more recently even declining. However, the report still allows for a growth in internet commerce from an estimated $840 million in 1996 to $7 billion in 2000.

- New research has poured cold water on optimistic forecasts about the growth of commerce on the internet. The report, published by De Montfort University, ridicules the idea that a billion people will be online by 2000 and claims that "evidence from the US shows that the ceiling may already have been reached." Professor Paul Foley said: "Forecasts of prodigious growth were based on extrapolating earlier rapid growth trends." Surveys identified in the research show the proportion of people buying over the internet stabilising at 15-19 per cent, or more recently even declining. However, the report still allows for a growth in internet commerce from an estimated $840 million in 1996 to $7 billion in 2000.



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