Wal-Mart sees global price deflation continuing

Wal-mart left.jpgThe blog regards Wal-Mart and other major retailers as excellent leading indicators of trends in the wider economy.

It was therefore concerned to see CFO Tom Schoewe reporting today that Wal-Mart continues to “operate in a very challenging economy“, where the key driver is to provide “the lowest prices to our customers around the world.”

US CEO, Eduardo Castro-Wright, added that US same-store sales were actually down 0.4% versus 2008. He said the decline was “driven by price deflation that was well beyond what we had expected, across many food categories, as well as electronics.”

This deflation is occurring at a time when oil prices have doubled since the start of the year. It suggests that chemical companies and polymer convertors will have a tough task pushing through price increases, especially as Wal-Mart expect price deflation to continue into Q1.

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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