The performance of the retail sector is often a solid indicator of the overall economic health in the United States, mostly as a result of the two biggest facets that fuel results – consumer spending and business success. In several recent reports, the retail sector had shown signs of life, outpacing other industries in several categories.
Though the Federal Reserve and U.S. Small Business Administration cited a drop off in small business lending in July and the second quarter 2012 as a whole, the high loan disbursement volumes seen in the months preceding might have fueled a turnaround in the retail sector, as well as others.
When looking at both retail and manufacturing productivity in recent months, especially with regard to exports and Gross Domestic Product, the nation has experienced vast improvement throughout the last quarter. The U.S. government released a pair of reports last week that showed strong performances in these vital facets of the economy.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, adjusted data indicated retail and foodservice sales hit just under $404 billion in the nation in July, marking a 0.8 percent increase from June. Maybe even more encouraging, this was year-over-year growth of 4.1 percent, while sales from May through July were up 4.3 percent year-over-year.
Merchandise sales also saw marked improvements both from the previous month and year-over-year. According to the Census Bureau, furniture and home goods stores witnessed just under 10 percent growth from July 2012, maintaining strong upward trend through the last four months.
Finally, non-store retailers saw a near 12 percent increase year-over-year in sales, showing the ever-growing value of eCommerce platforms in the marketplace today.
The U.S. Department of Commerce released a report on merchandise exports last week. According to the department, the nation saw $773.4 billion in merchandise exports through the first two quarters of this year – a record over any other time period – marking a year-over-year increase of $50.7 billion.
“Despite a challenging global economy, these numbers show continued global demand for American goods,” U.S. Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank explained. “While the nation looks to be on track toward exceeding last year’s goods and services export total of $2.1 trillion, we are also seeing some individual states outpace the national average of seven percent growth in merchandise exports.”
Now is an excellent time to expand operations and begin exporting, as the government has launched several initiatives to encourage and support international trade among domestic businesses.
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