Worries about the sustainability of the US economic recovery were stoked on Sunday after Wal-Mart, the discount retailer that is a bellwether for the country's retail sector, announced that sales grew by only 0.7 per cent in the year to November.
The world's largest retailer had estimated growth of 2 to 4 per cent just 10 days ago. But Wal-Mart revised its estimates down on Saturday evening after disappointing sales on “Black Friday”, the day after Thanksgiving so called because it is traditionally the time retailers move into profit for the year. It is an indicator of spending for the holiday season, when a quarter of annual retail sales are rung up.
Wal-Mart said sales had fallen “below plan” in the last week of November and sales growth was down on the 2.8 per cent annual rate it had reported for October.
when the option is people spending themselves into debt... who cares?