Consumer spending increase aids merchants
January 08, 2013
The U.S. economy continues to fight back from the doldrums of the Great Recession, and many segments have improved more substantially in the past few months. Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) continue to be the subject of most economic talks, especially because these firms create more jobs and produce a larger share of the gross domestic product (GDP) than their larger counterparts.

Merchants who accept credit card payments through a variety of platforms will be in better positions to capitalize on improving economic conditions. The latest report from the U.S. Department of Commerce and U.S. Census Bureau found that sales in the retail and food services industries climbed in November 2012. According to the news provider, year-over-year growth in total sales hit 5.5 percent, marking healthy economic improvements.

The report also found that furniture and home furnishing stores had the strongest performances that month, experiencing 8.2 percent growth from a year prior. This was among the most successful performances in the past two years, and a much-needed boost following Hurricane Sandy and other events that hurt SMBs across the nation in October.

The Los Angeles Times added that separate data from the Commerce Department and Federal Reserve indicated improvements in other segments of the economy. According to the news provider, a 0.6 percent increase in average annual income in November among the population drove consumer spending figures higher than any other period in the past 11 months.

With consumers beginning to return to stores and spend more than anytime since the Great Recession, merchants should consider using integrated payments systems to lock-in all potential sales, improve customer experiences and drive loyalty throughout 2013.
Nexus: G-WEBCD5