Wal-Mart CEO reveals where American consumers are spending their money

Wal-Mart’s same-store sales growth in the US was weaker than expected for its most recent quarter.

In an earnings call Tuesday, Wal-Mart CEO Doug McMillon blamed a decline in customers’ discretionary spending.

“Based on recent surveys, we know that many of our US customers are using their tax refunds and the extra money from lower gas prices to pay down debt or put it into savings,” McMillon said, according to a transcript of the call. “They’re also using these funds for everyday expenses like utilities and groceries.”

The company reported a 1.1% rise in US same-store sales in the first quarter ended April 30, missing expectations of a 1.5% increase.

Wal-Mart also reported diluted earnings per share of $US1.03, missing expectations for $US1.05, according to Bloomberg. It noted that the impact of foreign currency erased 3 cents per share from its earnings.

The company generated revenue of $US114.88 billion, below the consensus forecast for $US116.23 billion.

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