Time to Startup!

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Retail Sales Continue Improvement in January

Published on Feb 15, 2011


Read 'Retail Sales Continue Improvement in January' at 'Time to Start Up,' the small business blog by BizFilings.
Adding to a number of recent reports indicating improvements in private sector employment, venture capital investment as well as small business lending and confidence, retailers may be encouraged by improvements in consumer spending. According to the most recent report from the macroeconomic indicator SpendingPulse, total retail sales - excluding auto sales - grew by 5.5 percent in January, compared to the same time a year ago. The gain reflected an upward growth trend from November, which continued through December and into January. "Despite some very challenging weather conditions in many parts of the country, and unemployment numbers that have not yet improved significantly, during the last two months we saw the strongest growth rate for total U.S. retail sales ex-autos since April 2010," Kamalesh Rao, director of economic research for MasterCard Advisors SpendingPulse, said in a statement. "Further, the year-to-year growth for 3 month totals stood at 4.9 percent in January, the highest growth rate since August 2007," Rao added. As retail sales begin to improve, many analysts are advising small businesses to offer payment options to customers who are past due, suggesting such policies are good business practice in a recovering economy.