A 5% increase in online spending during the holidays brings with it a mixed message, retail experts said. Between Nov. 1 and Christmas Eve, U.S. consumers spent $27.1 billion on the Internet, compared with $26.8 billion in the same period last year, according to research firm ComScore. But the amount in 2008 was down 3% from that of 2007. In addition, this year's per-person spending was less than last year's. "Online sales growth this year was driven by a continued increase in the number of people buying online," said Gian Fulgoni, ComScore's chairman.

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