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Migrant Remittances Still Lifeline to Bulgaria’s Economy

September 16, 2011 Leave a comment

Remittances – money sent by Bulgarian migrants to family members back home – continue to increase slightly, but steadily despite the global downturn, data from the central bank shows. The net sum of the remittances from Bulgarians permanently working abroad totaled EUR 473 M during the first seven months of 2011, Novinite.com (Sofia News Agency) wrote.

Bulgarian immigrants sent home EUR 68.6 M in July alone, slightly down from EUR 77.4 in May, which was a record-high level of transfers since the Bulgarian National Bank started collecting data about remittances back in 2004, the bank said.

The increase in the amount of remittances from Bulgarians working abroad has been firm over the last few years. Total funds transferred to Bulgaria annually have gone up from EUR 693.90 M in 2008 to a whopping EUR 759.6 M in 2010. Studies show that the actual money sent home are about 30-40% higher that the official figures.

http://www.novinite.com/view_news.php?id=132139

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UK and USA Christmas Day online sales up 29%

More people are choosing to do their online shopping on Christmas Day than ever before, with sales rising by 29% to reach £132m.

Boxing Day saw even higher sales of £281m, according to IMRG. These stats are backed up by an eDigitalResearch survey (PDF) of consumers’ online activity over Christmas.

More highlights from the survey:

75% of the respondents said they were online on either Christmas Day or Boxing Day, with 15% and 23% respectively making purchases online.

Figures from John Lewis paint a similar picture, with shoppers making a purchase on its website every 10 seconds on Christmas Day, and a record number of visitors to the website between 11am and midday on Boxing Day.

Despite threats from the weather nearer Christmas, and the Royal Mail strike in November, the vast majority of deliveries arrived on time, and 97% said they intend to spend more or the same online next year.

Customer satisfaction with etailers

According to the Christmas Customer Satisfaction Index from ForeSee Results, customers are happier with online retailers this year, with the average score up 6.5% to 71.

Pureplays Amazon and Play.com topped the list with scores of 83 and 79, while Ticketmaster and B&Q were bottom of the class with scores of 65.

ForeSee ran the same survey with US consumers, and US sites scored an average of 79, which suggest that they are outperforming UK websites by 9%.

Which retailers had a good Christmas online?

Online sales at the John Lewis sale were up 23% in its first three days. The retailer experienced its busiest ever hour online when it launched the sale at 6pm on Christmas Eve. 

The Hut, which runs Zavvi, as well as providing e-commerce services for Woolworths, Argos and others, said that orders rose by 188% in the six weeks to December 23.

Shop Direct Group reported that online sales over Christmas were up by 19% against 2008, while the internet accounted for 65% of all sales versus 56% last year.

Online sales at M&S were up by 32% in the 13 weeks up to December 27, compared with 2008.

Sales at Ocado rose by 49% in the week leading up to Christmas to £8.9m. Sales in the four weeks to Boxing Day were up 30% from 2008, reaching £40.8m.

http://econsultancy.com/blog/5194-christmas-day-online-sales-up-29?utm_medium=email&utm_source=topic