Economy still a top concern for U.S. consumers

While the economy has shown some signs of improvement, consumers still list it as the biggest problem facing the country. 

Whether or not economic growth accelerates in the coming months, small- to medium-sized businesses could have a need for inventory financing.

One-in-four Americans cited the economy in general as the most important problem facing the country in June, according to Gallup. Unemployment, dissatisfaction with the government, health care and federal debt are other top concerns among consumers. 

As the economy continues to remain a concern of consumers, one would think it would have an impact on confidence, but that hasn't been the case. 

Consumer sentiment surged in May, as the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Index of Consumer Sentiment jumped to 84.5 from 76.4 the previous month and 79.3 in May 2012. 

Americans are also more confident in future prospects, with the Index of Consumer Expectations rising from 67.8 in April to 75.8. 

"Housing is improving, house prices are rising, gasoline prices have been a support for much of this year to confidence, and we have stock prices that have climbed – I think all of that is helping to lift consumer sentiment," Ryan Sweet, senior economist at Moody's Analytics, told Bloomberg. 

Small- to medium-sized retailers could have a need for inventory financing if consumers hold back spending or spend more. 

During times where cash flow slows, this form of asset-based lending can help businesses operate at normal levels. Meanwhile, in periods where sales surge, retailers can use this type of financing to keep shelves stocked. 

Both of these benefits are made possible by the revolving line of credit that can be obtained using current inventory as collateral.