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Visa: Global b-to-b spending grew 11% in 2008

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San Francisco—Even as the global economy slid toward recession last year, worldwide b-to-b spending grew to $90.2 trillion, up 11% from 2007, according to Visa Inc.’s annual “Commercial Consumption Expenditure” index.

The fastest-growing area was central and eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa, where b-to-b expenditures grew 23.7% last year to $7.4 trillion. Also experiencing hefty growth was the Latin America/Caribbean region, where business spending rose 17.4% to $5 trillion. The greatest share of business spending remains Western Europe, where $31.9 trillion was spent last year, a 9.6% rise over 2007.

Asia Pacific’s spending share surpassed that of the U.S. for the first time in 2008. That region saw b-to-b spending rise 13.5% to $23.4 trillion, compared with the $20.3 trillion spent last year in the U.S., a 5.3% year-over-year increase.

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