Sarah Nassauer reports in The Wall Street Journal that American consumers are showing no signs of being held by tariffs, as they push Walmart sales to a five-year growth streak. She writes:
American consumers showed no signs of belt-tightening in sales results from Walmart Inc., offering comfort to retailers worried about fallout from the trade war and the health of the global economy as the holiday shopping season nears.
Walmart said its U.S. comparable sales, those from stores and websites operating for at least 12 months, rose 3.2% in the period ended Oct. 25, marking a five-year streak of quarterly sales gains. Its e-commerce sales in the U.S. rose 41% from a year earlier, bolstered by grocery orders.
“We continue to see good traffic in our stores,” Chief Executive Doug McMillon said in a conference call on Thursday.
President Trump weighed in on Walmart’s results, saying they were proof that his administration’s imposition of tariffs on Chinese imports wasn’t driving up prices or slowing consumer spending. “Walmart announces great numbers. No impact from Tariffs,” he tweeted.
More tariffs on consumer goods are scheduled to take effect Dec. 15, while Washington and Beijing continue to bandy about trade proposals.
Walmart finance chief Brett Biggs told reporters that the company is continuing to monitor those discussions, and its merchants are working on ways to cushion the effect of trade actions. He also said management is keeping tabs on employment rates, fuel prices and wage growth for any economic shifts.
“What we are seeing from the consumer is pretty good and pretty consistent,” Mr. Biggs said in an interview.
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