This blog has covered the monthly retail sales numbers that are released by the U.S. Department of Commerce. So far, 2014 has been a disappointment. Many experts have pointed to the Polar Vortex that hit the country at the beginning of the year, which caused an already slow shopping season to grind to a halt. However, in the months that have followed, the swing in the other direction has yet to happen.
According to the most recent numbers that were gathered by the Wall Street Journal, a more positive trend is starting to emerge. In June, U.S. retail sales rose a seasonally adjusted 0.2 percent from May. The most prominent areas were clothing, general merchandise and sporting goods, which increased 0.4 percent in June.
This was smaller than the 0.6 percent that was expected overall. However, there is evidence in the report that the economy is moving in the right direction and consumers are starting to spend more freely.
"Still, the outlook for the economy is cloudy. Higher retail sales in recent months suggests the economy—which relies on consumer spending for about 70 percent of output—returned to growth in the second quarter after a sharp contraction in the first three months of the year," the article reads. "Consumers who stayed home during snow storms and severe cold in the winter appeared to spend more freely in the spring."
With sales numbers continuing the upward trend, companies would be wise to consider adopting a new solution like improved POS card processing, which will make sure they are able to capture every dollar that comes through the door.