The growth of the internet population has slowed dramatically over the past quarter, according to the latest statistics from research firm BMRB’s Internet Monitor.
However, consumer spending online continues to break new records, reaching &£25.8bn on an annual basis.
The number of users aged 15 or older rose to 27.9 million by May. This was just 100,000 more than in February and compares to a rise of 1.3 million in the previous three-month period. Overall, it means the annual growth rate has dropped from 12% in February to 9%. Broadband growth in the home is also slowing, up by just 2% since February to 21.2 million users.
People are spending more time on the Web at home than at work. The average time for home use rose six and a half minutes a day to 82 minutes, while the figure for work is down by four and a quarter minutes to 63 minutes.
The number of online shoppers in the quarter was 19.2 million – a drop from 20 million the previous quarter. This can be partly attributed to a natural lull after the Christmas spending rush, and is still the second highest figure on record. People are also making more internet voice calls, with the figure rising from 1.8 million in February to 2.2 million by May. The Internet Monitor is a quarterly phone survey of 1,000 Web users in the UK.