Fiserv report shows strong demand for consumer products and services

The Fiserv Small Business Index suggests a steady level of consumer spending

According to January's Fiserv Small Business Index, small businesses nationwide have rung in 2024 with a promising display of resilience.

According to the January edition of the Fiserv Small Business Index, small businesses nationwide have rung in 2024 with a promising display of resilience in the face of shifting economic conditions. 

On February 5, 2024, Fiserv, a leading provider of payments and financial services technology, published a study that analyzed the performance of small companies at national, state, and industry levels. The research also presents an optimistic outlook for the coming year.

At 138, the Fiserv Small Business Index remained stable, suggesting a steady level of consumer spending. The modest 0.1% month-over-month sales rise, and the more noteworthy 1.7% year-over-year growth both reflect this consistency. 

Even if this growth has slowed down a little from the 2.6% increase seen in December 2023, the numbers still show strong demand for consumer products and services.

Fiserv Chief Data Officer Prasanna Dhore noted that “small businesses maintained steady sales in January,” highlighting the resilience of small enterprises in the face of harsh weather conditions nationwide. Specifically, the retail industry demonstrated its strength, surpassing the small company category as a whole, with growth driven by consumer spending on building supplies, personal care products, and general merchandise.

However, not all industries performed similarly. The food services and drinking places subsector suffered a reduction, with the January index falling to 122, a five-point decrease from December. This industry experienced a -1.9% year-over-year decline and a -4.1% month-over-month decline in sales, which was an indicative shift in consumer purchasing patterns following the holidays.

Results from the Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services and Specialty Trade Contractors subsectors were inconsistent. While the latter saw a strong year-over-year sales increase of 6.0%, with a January index of 148, the former saw a slight month-over-month sales decline of 0.5%, ending at a January index of 145.

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