US consumer spending hasn’t collapsed yet, but it’s sputtering. Wal-Mart (WMT) and other discounters reported better than expected April same store sales, but discretionary and premium retailers got smacked. Wal-Mart execs also added that they are seeing more signs of consumer stress: consumers living paycheck to paycheck and not making it.
Eduardo Castro-Wright, Wal-Mart Stores U.S. president and chief executive, noted, “The economy continues to get tougher and the ‘paycheck cycle’ is more pronounced for customers than in past months. As money gets tighter for them toward the end of the month, sales drop more than we have seen in the past”...
Wal-Mart April sales: +3.2% ex fuel, above the company’s forecast of a 1% to 3%. Strength in dry groceries and consumables. Wal-Mart chain itself up 2.6%: strength in groceries and health-and-wellness. Housewares still weak.
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