Wal-Mart’s US sales reduced by deflation

Wal-mart left.jpgWal-Mart, the world’s largest retailer with $400bn sales, saw deflation in its core US market last quarter.

Prices were down minus 1.6%, even more than the -1% forecast. The cause was lack of confidence amongst shoppers, many of whom are now living “paycheck to paycheck”.

The major retailers have an excellent record as forecasters of future trends for the chemical industry. So it is worrying, to say the least, to find CEO Mike Duke expecting that U.S. sales will be “more challenging” in the current quarter. The only note of optimisim was that he went on to add the hope that they might “improve as the year progresses“.

About Paul Hodges

Paul Hodges is Chairman of International eChem, trusted commercial advisers to the global chemical industry. He also serves as a Global Expert for the World Economic Forum. The aim of this blog is to share ideas about the influences that may shape the chemical industry and the global economy over the next 12 – 18 months. It looks behind today’s headlines, to understand what may happen next in critical areas such as oil prices, China and Emerging Markets, currencies, autos, housing, economic growth and the environment. Please do join me and share your thoughts. Between us, we will hopefully develop useful insights into the key factors that will drive the industry's future performance.

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