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Retails sales are up and jobless claims are falling, indicating an improved economic outlook, according to new data from Mount Prospect, Ill.-based Cummins Allison.
The Commerce Department's recently released numbers show consumers are more willing to spend as the economy stabilizes. Excluding automobile purchases, retail sales jumped 0.3 percent in May. This represents a significant jump over April's 0.1 percent increase. Over the past year, retail sales have improved by 4.3 percent, a respectable gain.
As the weather warms up, supermarkets have seen a jump in sales as families plan summer celebrations, barbecues and graduation parties. Strong consumer purchasing will likely continue, as back-to-school season is just around the corner.
Retail sales aren't the only factor indicating an economic improvement - jobless claims are also promising. According to new reports from the Labor Department, the number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits fell to 334,000, a drop of 12,000. This has sparked speculation that summer hiring will continue to make a difference in the financial outlook.
With many people heading back to work, families may feel more financially secure and be comfortable making additional purchases. This could lead to even stronger retail sales numbers in the coming months, a possibility that business owners need to be prepared for.
Cummins Allison is a global leader in developing solutions designed to quickly and efficiently count, sort and authenticate currency, checks and coin.