French shoppers to spend more online this Xmas compared to 2016

PARIS, Nov 21 (Reuters) - French shoppers plan on average to spend more on online sales this Christmas compared to a year ago, the country’s Commerce Federation (Fevad) said on Tuesday, marking the latest sign of a gradual improvement in the economy.

The French economy expanded at its fastest pace since 2011 in the third quarter, boosted by an acceleration in consumer spending.

Shoppers are expected to spend an average of 203 euros ($239) per person online for Christmas presents, up 4 percent from a year ago, the Fevad body said in a statement.

Online Christmas retail sales are expected to reach 15.8 billion euros, a year-on-year rise of 13 percent, as more people in France turn to the Internet for their shopping habits.

This would lift total online retail sales in France to more than 80 billion euros in full-year 2017, giving a year-on-year rise of around 14 percent.

France is ranked as the fifth biggest E-commerce market worldwide. In 2016, E-commerce represented 8 percent of French retail sales.

$1 = 0.8508 euros Reporting by Dominique Vidalon; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta