WASHINGTON - Online shopping will increase 20% in 2006 to $211.4 billion (€164.5bn; £112.08bn), according to an annual study of 174 online retailers released today by Forrester Research in cooperation with online e-tail association Shop.org.
    The study forecasts web sales will pass the $200bn milestone in 2006 - just three years after topping $100bn. The largest sales category is online travel, which is expected to grow about 17% to $73.4bn this year.
    Hard on its heels will be computer hardware and software, predicted to rise nearly 17% to $16.8bn.
    Online sales currently account for nearly 7% of the total US retail market, according to the study, which found that such sales rose 25% to $176.4bn in 2005.