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Tuesday, October 3, 2017

ETA, Strawhecker reveal upbeat report on economy, payments

On day-one of the Electronic Transactions Association's Strategic Leadership Forum, taking place in Dana Point, Calif., from Oct. 3 to 5, 2017, the ETA, in partnership with The Strawhecker Group, released Strategic Leadership Forum (SLF) Special Report on the U.S. Economy. This event and report also help kick off Payments Analytics Month, which was founded by Strawhecker "to highlight the strategic importance of using analytics to enhance decision making while providing payments industry players with a bevy of powerful data," the consultancy stated.

The report, which is focused on the role of the electronic payments ecosystem in the overall economy, is among the benefits enjoyed by more than 500 ETA members worldwide. Among the report's highlights are a U.S. macroeconomic outlook, examination of public payment companies' performance, U.S. retail spending report card, U.S. card-present versus online spending projections, a look at multioutlet merchant concentration, and drivers of volume attrition and growth.

Positive signs

Based on their research data, the ETA and Strawhecker concluded signs are positive for a strong payments sphere going forward. In a press release about the report, the partners listed the following growth drivers as contributing factors to their optimism:

  • "The economy has rebounded after a slow start to 2017, bringing the growth rate for the first half of the year to just under 2 percent. In 2016, the economy expanded at an annual rate of 1.5 percent. The growth was driven by gains in household and business spending. In the second half of the year, economists predict growth will remain in the range of 2 percent to 2.5 percent. Sectors like technology, healthcare and banking are thriving, even as industries such as retail shed jobs. Clearly, the stock market has also reached new heights.

  • "The economy has benefited from steady consumer spending. Retail sales excluding gasoline in 2017 are expected to rise by 4 percent, up a bit from its 3.8 percent pace in 2016. Demand for automobiles, appliances and furniture contributed to the growth. Building materials sales should have a strong year, mirroring the strength in housing construction in general. In addition, restaurant sales are slowing to a more sustainable growth pace this year.

  • "eCommerce sales are expected to now grow 14 percent this year, slightly less than the 15 percent gain in 2016. eCommerce has shown solid growth over the past seven years, and is expected to account for 9 percent of all retail sales (13 percent of all goods sales) by the end of 2017. On the other hand, in-store sales are predicted to show 1.8 percent growth, a slight pickup from last year's 1.4 percent gain.

  • "The recent flurry of hurricanes may have dented Americans' outlook over the past few weeks. However, economists expect the regions impacted to recover quickly and may even experience a bump in growth from rebuilding."

Month of analytics

About the forum, the ETA stated, "Every year, the industry's high-level players and their executive teams gather to receive the latest insights from the experts and network with their peers. Attendees received first-access to the latest industry intelligence, including a breakdown of payments-centric economic data and an update on the regulatory and legislative landscape for the industry."

For further information about the ETA, visit www.electran.org. For updates on other activities taking place during Payments Analytics Month, sign up at webview.thestrawgroup.com/PAM. end of article

Editor's Note:

The Green Sheet Inc. is now a proud affiliate of Bankcard Life, a premier community that provides industry-leading training and resources for payment professionals. Click here for more information.

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