April sales numbers slow worse than expectations

Last month, this blog covered the retail sales numbers reported by the Commerce Department for March, which were the highest recorded since March 2010. There was a 1.5 percent increase sales that month.

This had many industry experts hoping that the economy may have turned a corner, but the latest report shows that the April numbers have slowed way down. According to an article from the New York Times, the forecast sales for last month was 0.4 percent, but actual numbers were only 0.1 percent.

"You really had a spectacular March," said Guy Berger, an economist at RBS in Stamford, Connecticut. "You are now having an April hangover. The reality of the economy is decent but not great."

While March was a solid month for retail, the rest of 2014 is down. The start of the year was hampered by the typical post holiday spending slowdown, but also took a hit from poor weather. This delayed consumers want to spend until March. However, the slowdown has consumers more caution about what where they choose to spend their money.

Jim Baird, the chief investment officer at Plante Moran Financial Advisors, said that it is possible for consumers to be more cautious in their spending habits as they wait to see if the economy stabilizes for the long run.

The retail sector is always in a state of flux and the last few months show how quickly it can change. This is why businesses need to make sure their systems are always up-to-date. Slow times can be the best opportunity to improve solutions like credit card processing software as it allows organizations to train and master it before busy times hit.

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