Consumer Confidence, Spending On The Rise


Considering a working capital loan for business expansion? Based on recent data showing increased economic confidence, now may be the right time to follow through.

Results from Harris Poll show that a rising number of Americans are feeling positive regarding the economy, with gains seen at the national, regional and household level.

“This month, a third (32 percent) of U.S. adults expect the economy to improve in the coming year, while 47 percent expect that it will remain the same and roughly two in ten (21 percent) expect it to get worse,” the polling service stated in a media release. “Expectations that it will improve have grown since last month (when 28 percent were expecting improvement), as well as in comparison to January of 2014 (when 26 percent indicated the same).”

Americans are also feeling confident about their personal finances. Fifty-three percent of Americans expect their household financial conditions to remain the same over the next six months, while 27 percent expect them to improve.

The survey results from Harris Poll were echoed by the most recent Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment index. Data showed consumer sentiment reached its highest level in 11 years during January thanks to improved job and wage prospects, according to Reuters.

“Consumers judged prospects for the national economy as the best in a decade, with half of all consumers expecting the economic expansion will continue for another five years,” Richard Curtin, the survey’s director, was quoted as saying.

Curtin went on to say that “renewed strength in consumer spending” will lead to further economic growth throughout 2015.

Americans spending more

Confidence is one thing, but U.S. small businesses can’t flourish without consumers putting their money where their mouths are. Fortunately, U.S. consumers are showing significant growth in spending habits.

Bloomberg Business reported during the fourth quarter of 2014, personal consumption expenditures increased by 4.3 percent – the fastest pace since 2006. This could be attributed at least in part to increases in wages.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported compensation costs for civilian workers rose 0.6 percent during the 3-month period ending Dec. 2014.

“The level of consumer sentiment supports our view that consumer spending will kick the year off on a robust foot after the drop in energy prices left consumers’ wallets full,” Bricklin Dwyer, an economist at BNP Paribas in New York, told Reuters.

Making the most of a strengthening economy

With both macro and micro economic factors improving, now might be the ideal time for business owners to take stock of their current plans and determine if they should take things to the next level.

A small business loan from National Funding can be used for expansion efforts, including everything from increasing inventory to advertising.

Meanwhile, small businesses that accept credit cards could also benefit from a merchant cash advance. By utilizing this form of borrowing, business owners receive cash in exchange for a fixed dollar amount of future credit card sales, making it even easier to obtain needed funding and ensure repayment goes as smoothly as possible.

Additionally, different types of equipment leases could be the ideal way to help small businesses expand while keeping costs low. Small businesses operating in virtually any industry can secure the equipment they need without the often exorbitant costs of buying outright.

No matter the needs of small business owners, one thing is clear: Economic improvement is creating an environment well-suited to increased sales. Whether it’s hiring new staff or doubling down on marketing efforts, owners have more options at their disposal than ever before for how to accomplish their objectives.

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