The National Bureau of Economic Research declared the Great Recession over in 2009, but is forced to acknowledge the economy’s slow recovery as “the unemployment rate remains stubbornly high and durations of unemployment unprecedentedly long.” And while some U.S. citizens are gaining back a sense of a normal life, many families are still experiencing economic turmoil and in turn, tight budgets. It comes as no surprise that consumers directly affected by the Great Recession, or who know a family member, friend or neighbor still struggling with debt and unemployment, remain frugal with their funds.
Retailers Think the Recession Is Still a Serious Reality
However, according to the American Express OPEN® Small Business Monitor, a semi-annual survey now in its tenth year, economic sluggishness is only slightly impacting the psyche of entrepreneurs and business owners, as a small 27 percent say they do not plan to grow in the next six months (up from 21 percent in the spring). The other 77 percent describe themselves as glass half-full optimists (down from 85 percent a year ago). Below are some signs that have reassured these glass half-full optimists that a state of recovery in the retail sector is on its way:
Cash flow is more under control: 55 percent have concerns, down from 66 percent in the spring
There are plans for capital investments: 48 percent plan investments, up from 44 percent in the spring
Hiring is still in the cards: 31 percent say they will hire over the next six months, down slightly from the spring (35 percent). According to the latest Intuit Small Business Employment Index, retailers and small businesses in general are starting to interview and hire an influx of interested candidates. July alone marked an addition of 50,000 employees to the payroll of small businesses nationwide. Theupward trend in job openings and affiliated hires began in October 2009, and as the economy continues to recover, retailers and other small business operations are responsible for the addition of 715,000 jobs.