Sales expected to Rebound in Next Three Months in US

US businesses are optimistic that sales will recover in the next three months after a sluggish first quarter. As per a survey released on Monday, US businesses may also hire more and increase pay.

Sales of only 49% of firms increased in the first three months of the year from last year's fourth quarter. According to experts, that is down from 54% reported in by the last survey, released in January. About three-quarters of companies are predicted to witness higher sales over the next three months.

"Growth in the first quarter appears to be an outlier within the broader economic outlook", said John Silvia, chief economist at Wells Fargo, president of the National Association for Business Economics.

The National Association for Business Economics conducted the survey that covered 77 companies in the second half of March. The companies that were surveyed represent a broad cross-section of industries with about half having over 1,000 employees and a quarter having less than 10. The industries include construction, manufacturing, finance, hotels and restaurants.

The percentage of firms that increased pay in the January-March quarter climbed to 45%, and that is up from 31% in January and 35% a year earlier. According to experts, 46% have planned to increase pay in the second quarter, which is an indication that the weakness in the first quarter hasn't caused them to slash back on salaries.

More than a third of firms revealed that they added workers in the first quarter. It is expected that 41% will hire more staff in the April-June quarter. Some companies have been harmed by the dollar's rise in value.