What do Walmart and Target sales figure say about the US economy?
Wal-Mart Stores Inc.’s latest struggles to revive U.S. sales, following a disappointing Commerce Department report earlier this week, add to evidence that the economy isn’t recovering as quickly as expected.
The company posted stagnant same-store sales today in its second-quarter earnings report, marking the sixth straight period of no growth. The world’s largest retailer also cut its earnings forecast for the year, citing higher spending on health care and e-commerce.
The sluggish results followed disappointing earnings from Target Corp. and Macy’s Inc. this month, signaling that a broad swath of retailers are struggling. The Commerce Department’s report on July retail sales was the weakest in six months, hurt by tepid wage growth. While some of Wal-Mart’s woes reflect a shift away from big-box retailers, many consumers appear to be simply keeping their wallets shut.