Last year saw stocks fall for the first time since 2008 and the price of gasoline drop to $1 a gallon in some parts of the country. Yet, when it comes to the businesses on Main Street throughout the U.S., the news was quite good, say some economic indicators.
According to the latest edition of the Store Front Business Index, overall growth of 3.1 percent was recorded between the second quarter of 2014 and the second quarter of 2015. Beyond that, the forecast for the final quarter of 2015 calls for growth of 3 percent.
The SFBI follows about 3.4 million businesses and looks at wages and number of employees to assess the health of these companies – which represent about 37 percent of all establishments in the country.
The SFBI did reveal that some areas of the country are healthier than others. For example, the Southwest area led the country with 4.1 percent in overall gains for the year, with the Mountain region following close behind at 4.0 percent.
Growth rates for other sections of the country included 3.6 percent for the South, 3 percent for the Pacific West and 2.8 percent for the Midwest. The Northeast recorded the lowest overall growth, yet still had a very respectable 2.3 percent growth for the year ending in Q2, 2015.
Just as some areas of the country outperformed others, according to SFBI figures from Q2, 2014, to Q2, 2015, some industries also emerged at the top of the index. Professional services was the leader in growth among the 8 industries analyzed, with a growth for the year of 4.9 percent and anticipated growth for the 4th quarter of 2015 at 4.8 percent.
Building contractors and home remodelers, which was affected most by the 2008 recession, has been recovering nicely for the past few years and grew at a rate of 3.8 percent in the year that ended in Q2, 2015.
The SFBI is presented by PYMNTS.com and CAN Capital, and focuses on storefront businesses throughout the country.