It’s hard to predict how a movie will end after only seeing the first 30 minutes. And a baseball game can change with the swing of a bat, no matter how the first three innings go. However, with decades of data and trends, analyzing a year’s first quarter retail sales can provide some valuable insight to the state of the economy.
The latest numbers from the United States Department of Commerce and the National Retail Federation showed that April 2016’s retail sales hit $453.4 billion, a 1.3% increase from March. This was the largest gain in over a year and brought 2016’s annual increase up to 3.0%.
While these numbers are encouraging for the year moving forward, there are some other metrics that support a positive outlook for the rest of the year.
An annual economic growth projection between 1.9% and 2.4%.
An estimated 190,000 new jobs added each month.
Estimated economic growth that exceeds the 10-year average.
All of these are indicators of a strong, rebounding economy. As consumers have more money to spend, it is also increasing market competition and forcing businesses to streamline. With e-commerce being one of the fastest growing sectors across all industries, traditional retailers are being influenced to adapt. B2B e-commerce alone boasts a sales force of 4.5 million people. When you consider new fulfillment and operational positions for new online retailers, the impact on the economy is significant.
While the economy grows in strength it is still important to be mindful of this new landscape. For many companies, having the ability to reach consumers, meet their new demands, and efficiently fulfill orders can be a challenge. Barrett Distribution Centers has been helping business of all sizes, across a variety of industries to create customized supply chains for over 75 years.