The Fed’s policy of liquefying markets through an orgy of money printing is resulting in two very different situations. On one hand the stimulus is goosing securities markets, making Wall Street and investors more wealthy. But for the vast majority of Americans the Fed’s policies have resulted in a rapid rise in food and energy prices which is hurting the middle and lower class. The Fed is and has always been for the banks, the hell with everyone else. It’s a damn shame.-Lou
Wal-Mart: Our shoppers are ‘running out of money’
NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — Wal-Mart’s core shoppers are running out of money much faster than a year ago due to rising gasoline prices, and the retail giant is worried, CEO Mike Duke said Wednesday.
“We’re seeing core consumers under a lot of pressure,” Duke said at an event in New York. “There’s no doubt that rising fuel prices are having an impact.”
Wal-Mart shoppers, many of whom live paycheck to paycheck, typically shop in bulk at the beginning of the month when their paychecks come in
Lately, they’re “running out of money” at a faster clip, he said.
“Purchases are really dropping off by the end of the month even more than last year,” Duke said. “This end-of-month [purchases] cycle is growing to be a concern.
Wal-Mart (WMT, Fortune 500), which averages 140 million shoppers weekly to its stores in the United States, is considered a barometer of the health of the consumer and the economy.
To that end, Duke said he’s not seeing signs of a recovery yet.
With food prices rising, Duke said Wal-Mart is charging customers more for some fresh groceries while reducing prices on other merchandise such as electronics.
Wal-Mart has struggled with seven straight quarters of sales declines in its stores.
Addressing that challenge, Duke said the company made mistakes by shrinking product variety and not being more aggressive on prices compared to its competitors.