While the latest update only takes data through the first quareter of '09, you can see that ecommerce retail sales went negative last year and has stayed negative since. Remember, ecommerce is a relatively new thing and until recently had been growing by leaps and bounds – but no longer. Growing at over a 70% rate in the year 2,000, it is now negative (contracting) by about 7% on a year over year basis.
This is yet another indicator showing that the consumer is tapped out. Sure the plunge has been arrested on the back of stimulus and government spending, but it certainly is not back to prior levels and meaningful growth has yet to resume. Could that be consumer credit related? You bet!
The following charts were updated today and contain data through quarter 1, 2009: