Defying global shopping woes, Seattle-based etailer says its sales during the holiday season soared 23% from 31 million units last year to around 39 million this time.

Amazon’s sales data is based on an inhouse gizmo dubbed a Delight-O-Meter – an appellation which does little to add double-entry certitude to its fiscal health, especially as it omits actual revenues. For some, however, it may confer a tad of credence that the perennially lossmaking company will soon emerge from the red.

Meantime, there is disappointment among Wall Street soothsayers that Amazon failed to maintain the impetus of its Thanksgiving sales – which grew at a faster rate than those in the run-up to Christmas.

The online giant provides little inter-quarter data to feed the insatiable appetites of analysts and investors. Unlike Wal-Mart and other brick-built retailers, few web merchants release monthly ‘same-store’ sales figures.

Instead, most online analysts are forced to use imperfect data such as web traffic measurement, which counts the number of individual visitors to a site but not the cash that flows from their credit cards.

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