LONDON: The latest report from ecommerce research firm IMRF (Interactive Media in Retail group) shows Britons enthusiastically milking the mouse during the run-up to Christmas 2006. Aggregated online spend hit an eyewatering £7.66 billion ($15.1bn; €11.7bn), up 54% on the same ten-week period in 2005.

In the first three weeks of December, web sales averaged almost £1bn weekly, with etailers reporting strong demand across all sectors from toys to TVs.

Comments IMRG managing director Jo Tucker: "Consumers just couldn't get enough of internet shopping at Christmas - it seems to match their mood and aspirations."

For 2006 as a whole consumers continued to embrace the internet, with annual total sales reaching £30.2bn - slightly ahead of IMRF's forecast of £30bn.

Data sourced from BBC Online: additional content by WARC staff