Wal-mart: Scenes from the Economic Front Lines

Wal-mart is like the Bureau of Economic Analyst of retail: It has all the data you wish you had about what’s going on in the economy, plus more — and it has it all in realtime. With that in mind, here are some alternately choice and concerning nuggets from a speech today by the company’s president in Los Angeles:

  • Credit is declining as a form of payment at Wal-mart. It will be down double-digits this year, he said.
  • Spending spikes around pay periods have become much more pronounced, implying that many Wal-mart shoppers are living check-to-check.
  • For the first time the company is seeing a paycheck-related spike in purchases of baby formula, suggesting some real teetering out there.

More here.

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