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Retail sales up as unemployment rates drop and automobile purchases increase

February 14, 2012

A sinking unemployment rate, increased retail sales and growth in the auto industry indicate a strengthening economy in the United States.

A sinking unemployment rate, increased retail sales and growth in the auto industry indicate a strengthening economy in the United States.

Automobile sales increased to 14.1 million, just slightly down from pre-recession peaks. In 2007, small truck and car sales were at 16.8 million, according to Bloomberg News. Analysts predict that this could be a good year for auto sales. A rising demand for consumer credit and an improving job market could push vehicle sales up 6 percent to 13.6 million within the next year, the source reports.

Increased spending could be the result of consumers’ bolstered financial confidence. In the past six months, businesses have added more than one 1 million jobs, bringing the unemployment rate down by .08 percent.

Additionally, retail sales grew by 4.8 percent in January, according to numbers released by the International Council of Shopping Centers. A mix of high- and low-end retail stores posted growth for January, which is typically a slow month for sales. In fact, economists told Bloomberg News that retail receipts were expected to surpass the .01 gains reported for December. Retail payment processing was projected to increase by .08 percent for the month. Retail owners can prepare for advances in sales by outfitting stores with updated credit card payment processing terminals that increase the efficiency of transactions. 

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