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Web Sales Inch up on Black Friday

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NEW YORK -- U.S. retail sales online rose 1 percent on Black Friday, the traditional start to the holiday shopping season, to $534 million, tracking firm comScore said on Sunday.

Combined with Web sales on Thanksgiving the previous day, the figure rose 2 percent, but sales are down 4 percent to date in November from a year ago, comScore said. The firm has forecast total web holiday sales to be flat this year at $29.2 billion, compared with a 19 percent rise in 2007.

Retailers and their investors are closely watching results from the weekend's sales as consumers cut spending in a shrinking U.S. economy.

Store sales rose 3 percent on Black Friday, according to ShopperTrak, which measures customer traffic.

Web holiday sales are still expected to see their heaviest day today, when consumers make purchases online at the office to take advantage of better Internet connections, comScore said.

Copyright 2007 Reuters. Click for restrictions.

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