The slight growth that retail sales numbers have experienced in recent months appears to be over, at least for now. This doesn't mean a decline has happened, just a stagnation.
According to the latest numbers released by the Commerce Department, there was virtually no change between the sales numbers reported in June and the new ones from July. Economists had forecasted a growth of 0.3 percent, 0.4 percent when auto sales are excluded. However, the actual number came in below that at only a 0.1 percent gain when motor vehicles are excluded.
Department stores, furniture and home furnishing stores, electronics and appliance stores and e-commerce were among the sectors that experienced dropping sales numbers. Building materials, food and beverage, health and personal care, clothing and restaurants we on the other side of the coin and experienced an increase in sales.
While this stall in sales could be an area of concern, some experts are predicting a strong end to 2014 because of an improving job market.
"Consumer confidence measures are improving, and credit is more easily available. Falling gasoline prices in recent weeks will put more money in consumers' pockets to spend on other goods and services," said PNC Financial Services economists Stuart Hoffman and Gus Faucher in a study after the retail sales figures were released.
If the economy is going to rebound, retailers are going to benefit. However, they will need to make sure they are in the best position to capture every sale that comes through the door. Whether this means updating credit card payment software, adding an e-commerce or any other solution, a retail solution provider can help.