In January of this year, many economic indicators looked good: the U.S. GDP, for example, grew 5.7 percent in 2021 after decreasing 3.4 percent in 2020; the economy added 6.7 jobs in 2021 after losing 9.3 million the prior year; hourly wages increased year-over-year by 10 percent—according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis and Bureau of Labor Statistics. But there were also troubling signs: consumer prices were 7.5 percent higher in January 2022, the largest 12-month gain in 40 years at the time, and the U.S. trade deficit had increased year-over-year by 21.6 percent.
More than halfway through 2022, observers agree we are doing business amid conditions that are vastly different than they were last summer, but what that means is open to interpretation. This issue's lead article shares data from recent research on the economy and expert perspectives on what those reports portend. One positive factor amid soaring inflation and fears of a looming recession is that consumer spending continues at a healthy pace, which is good news for the payments industry.
You'll also find good news in our Industry Update section, which shares a slice of the goings on in today's payments sphere. New partnerships continue to form and established ones strengthen; companies are recognized for innovation and service; professionals attain new milestones in their careers; new products are launched; and technology continues to facilitate further digitization, security and speed in payments.
Our ongoing news coverage, posted at www.greensheet.com, also offers positive signs. News briefs drawn from those stories cover the debut of real-time payments at the POS, the fresh focus and ideas flowing at the well-attended Southeast Acquirers Association's 2022 conference, advanced technologies now available to small and midsize businesses, and an update to Visa's chargeback rules designed to help merchants.
Experts contributing to this issue also offer encouraging and useful news about how to do business with family and friends; tips for handling and preventing failed recurring payments, the ins and outs of bank sponsorship, and how fintechs work behind the scenes to iterate POS apps as quickly as merchant and consumer needs change.
And we haven't forgotten the company and product profiles, words of inspiration, and Resource Guide to help put useful information at your fingertips. Please let us know what areas you'd like us to cover in future issues at email@example.com, and continue to send your press releases to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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