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Resource: Featured Articles
Retail Sales On Rising Streak
Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The retailers have reason to rejoice following the the recent improvements in the labor makerting as spending was boosted at stores and shopping malls nationwide.

The economy saw a 0.6 percent increase in January and the latest 1.1 percent jump have thus far surpassed expectations, according to the Commerce Department data released in Washington.

Eleven out of 13 categories, including auto dealers and clothing stores, showed gains in demand. These gains from February boosted the number of total sales to a staggering $407.8 billion, an impressive 20.1 percent higher than the recession low back in March 2009.

Even as gas prices are making many cringe at the stations, the report shows that this is best six-month streak of employment growth since 2006 and is having a positive effect on consumer confidence.

Store Sales
For the most part, the country experienced a fairly endurable winter season and because of that retailers saw a slump in winter items purchased during the holiday season. Many businesses rely on these sales to pick them up and, though the results were generally lacking, they later proved to be beneficial for sales in spring merchandise.

Even car dealers' sales has a positive turnaround from the prevoius month. In February, cars sold faster than they had in the past four years with Chrysler and General Motors leading the way gaining an increase of 1.6 percent.

One of the contributing factors for the rises in sales was the 3.3 percent increase in gasoline sales last month reflecting the hike in prices. Retail sales, though, continued to hold strong at 0.8 percent without the gasoline sales, and excluding automobiles, they increased 0.9 percent last month, topping the average forecast of surveyed economists, which was aimed at a gain of 0.7 percent.

Records show that these have been the most promising three months of hiring in two years. Since December, the work force gained 734,000 jobs lowering the unemployement rate to 8.3 percent. Along with these gains, worker pay went up in the last six months of last year by the most in nearly five years. The report also indicated that Americans were able to stash away 4.5 percent of their after-tax income in the fourth quarter.

Overall, the economy grew at an annual rate of 3 percent within the last three months of 2011.With tough times still a long way from being behind Americans, the jumps in sales are an indication of consumer optimism despite setbacks like gas prices. Consumers haven't let the gas prices phase them, though, as is evident in their eagerness to save, shop, and spend.