Pardon us Americans as we act surprised, but it turns out that we have one more thing in common with our Euro brethren: a growing number of us dislike shopping in stores. According to Kelkoo estimates, online spending in the European Union is projected to continue its upward trend, which is said to reach somewhere in the neighborhood of €232 billion before year's end. If the estimate holds, this would be a 16 percent increase over the €200 billion raked by e-tailers during 2011, and is naturally assumed to come at the expense of traditional brick and mortar outfits, whose growth is projected to increase by a mere 1.8 percent.

The data gathered also suggest there's significant room for expansion, however, as online spending accounted for just 7.8 percent of all EU retail sales in 2011, with the UK, Germany and France being responsible for a whopping 71 percent of that tally. The 16 percent projected growth is a slight decline from 2011, which saw EU online spending grow by 18 percent -- although, Europe's growing habit for click-and-ship continues to outpace the US, which grew by only 12.8 percent in 2011. Now, since you've crammed all these numbers, why not check the funny pages?

[Shopping button via Shutterstock]

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EU online spending estimated to grow 16 percent, reach €232 billion in 2012