Square Outage Stops Payments

Users of Square’s Web site and app experienced a brief outage that prevented some payments from being processed.

Square was hit by an hour-long outage yesterday evening, stopping some payments being processed.

Square was hit by an hour-long outage yesterday evening, stopping some payments being processed.

The outage caused problems for users of the startup’s website, Squareup.com, as well as its mobile app, The Next Web reports.

Square allows merchants to take credit card payments using its free Square card reader, which plugs into iOS or Android mobile devices. The company processes $5 billion of transactions per year.

The startup this month added Starbucks to its list of customers. Some 7,000 Starbucks outlets will introduce Square’s mobile payment system this fall, and the coffee chain also invested $25 million in the mobile payments startup.

 

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Retail Sales in U.S. Jumped More Than Forecast

 

Retail sales in the U.S. rose more than forecast in July, reflecting broad-based gains that ease concern elevated unemployment will cause consumers to retrench.

The 0.8 percent advance, the biggest since February and first gain in four months, followed a 0.7 percent decrease in June, Commerce Department figures showed today in Washington. Economists projected a 0.3 percent rise, according to the median forecast in a Bloomberg survey. Purchases climbed in all 13 categories, the first time that’s happened since 2005.

Pedestrians pass in front of a Gap Inc. store in San Francisco. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

Rupkey on U.S. July Retail Sales, Producer Prices

2:35

Aug. 14 (Bloomberg) — Chris Rupkey, chief financial economist at Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, talks about today’s reports on U.S. retail sales and producer prices in July. Retail sales rose 0.8 percent, the first gain in four months, Commerce Department figures showed. The producer price index rose 0.3 percent, Labor Department figures showed. The core measure excluding volatile food and energy increased 0.4 percent. (Source: Bloomberg)

U.S. Retail Sales Beat Projections; PPI Rises

1:51

Aug. 14 (Bloomberg) — Retail sales in the U.S. rose 0.8 percent in July, more than forecast, following a 0.7 percent decrease in June that was weaker than first reported, Commerce Department figures showed today. Separately, the producer price index rose 0.3 percent in July after an increase of 0.1 percent in the previous month, according to the Labor Department. Michael McKee and Deirdre Bolton report on Bloomberg Television’s “In the Loop.” (Source: Bloomberg)

Joblessness in excess of 8 percent is keeping consumer spending from surging. Photographer: Sam Hodgson/Bloomberg

Improved sales at merchants such as Gap Inc. (GPS) and TJX Cos. (TJX) indicate American households are looking beyond the global economic slowdown as hiring improves. At the same time, joblessness in excess of 8 percent is keeping consumer spending from surging, consistent with the Federal Reserve’s view that economic growth will “remain moderate over coming quarters.”

“The consumer hasn’t exactly thrown in the towel, which is encouraging because they’ve been battered and bruised in recent months with very slow job growth and a cloud of uncertainty,” said Millan Mulraine, senior U.S. strategist at TD Securities Inc. in New York. “We’re off to good a start in the third quarter. I do question the sustainability of the current level of spending. It can only be sustained if employment growth accelerates beyond July.”

Stocks climbed as the report bolstered optimism the economic expansion will be maintained. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index rose 0.2 percent to 1,407.09 at 10:48 a.m. in New York. Treasury securities fell, sending the yield on the benchmark 10- year note up to 1.71 percent from 1.67 percent late yesterday.

Growth Estimates

Today’s report showed the retail sales category used to calculate gross domestic product, which excludes sales at auto dealers, building material stores and service stations, increased 0.9 percent, the biggest gain since January, after a 0.2 percent decrease in June.

Economists at Morgan Stanley in New York raised their tracking estimate for growth in the third quarter to a 1.9 percent annual rate after today’s report from a previous estimate of 1.7 percent. Their counterparts at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. boosted it to 2.3 percent from 2.2 percent.

Other reports today showed wholesale prices climbed more than forecast in July and inventories at U.S. companies rose in June at the slowest pace in nine months.

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