Retail sales improve in first weeks of March

Retail sales have been rising in the past couple months and showed no signs of losing momentum to begin March, which could create the need for businesses to restock their shelves. 

According to Redbook Research's latest indicator, national chain store sales jumped 0.7 percent in the first two weeks of March when compared to the same period last month. On a year-over-year basis, sales were up 2.9 percent. 

While this figure was below expectations, Redbook said businesses are preparing for a back loaded month, as sales could rise steadily as Easter weekend approaches. 

Last month, retail sales were up 1.1 percent, according to the Commerce Department, which was the largest jump in five months. Coupled with February's sales, the increase in the beginning of March could signal that sales are building momentum. 

"At least so far, the increase in taxes has had a minimal impact on household spending, showing that the economy retains a lot of momentum," Economic Advisors economist Joel Naroff told ABC News. 

With product being purchased, retailers could find themselves needing to replenish their inventory. Some companies will be able to use the profit made on previous sales, but others may have had to use that money for other reasons and might have to obtain a loan. 

If turned down by a bank, small retailers could turn to a form of asset-based lending called inventory financing. As long as a business has inventory in stock, they might be able to qualify for a revolving line of credit using their current product as collateral. 

This allows businesses with capital tied up in other areas to turn their inventory into cash, which can be a major benefit from small and up-and-coming companies.