Burgeoning e-commerce expectations in Europe are divorced from reality, research shows.

The revelation came with the second eCom Index from CMG - a communications technology services group. CMG researchers interviewed managers of 250 firms in the UK, France, Germany and the Netherlands – 80 per cent of who expect e-commerce to grow strongly over the coming year.

But the report says these expectations are "hugely divorced from reality". Only a small number of companies is recording more than one per cent of revenue through e-commerce – and the index for e-commerce activity is down by 30 per cent since June 1999.

The first two eCom surveys, conducted in June and November 1999, saw a smaller number of firms expecting e-commerce growth - 62 per cent and 72 per cent respectively.

According to the survey, the amount of e-commerce activity declined "significantly" during the winter months, with British and Dutch firms hardest hit.

The survey quizzed companies from banking, insurance, utilities, telecoms, retail and transport and logistics.