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WALMART INC.

(WMT)
  Report
Delayed Nyse  -  04:00 2022-10-03 pm EDT
132.53 USD   +2.18%
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U.S. retail sales flat in July; core sales rise

08/17/2022 | 08:46am EDT
FILE PHOTO: People shop for clothes at Target retail chain in Westbury, New York

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. retail sales were unchanged in July as declining gasoline prices weighed on receipts at service stations, but consumer spending appeared to holding up, which could further assuage fears that the economy was already in recession.

The Commerce Department on Wednesday said that retail sales' flat reading last month followed a downwardly revised 0.8% increase in June. Retail sales in June were previously reported to have advanced 1.0%.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast that sales would gain 0.1%, with estimates ranging from as low as a 0.3% decline to as high as a 0.9% increase. Retail sales are mostly goods and are not adjusted for inflation.

Monthly consumer prices were unchanged in July as gasoline prices retreated from record highs, lowering the annual rate of increase in inflation to 8.5% from 9.1% in June.

The national average gasoline price dropped to about $4.27 per gallon in the last week of July after hitting an all-time high just above $5.00 in mid-June, according to data from motorist advocacy group AAA. Prices at the pump were averaging $3.943 per gallon on Wednesday.

Excluding automobiles, gasoline, building materials and food services, retail sales increased 0.8% last month after rising 0.7% in June.

These so-called core retail sales correspond most closely with the consumer spending component of gross domestic product. They were previously reported to have risen 0.8% in June.

Consumer spending grew at its slowest pace in two years in the second quarter. The modest rise was offset by weakness in business and government spending as well as residential investment, resulting in the second straight quarter of GDP contraction. But with the labor market maintaining a brisk pace of job growth in July and industrial production hitting a record high, the economy is probably not in recession.

Still, the Federal Reserve's aggressive interest rate increases to dampen demand and curb inflation have left the economy vulnerable to a downturn. The U.S. central bank has hiked its policy rate by 225 basis points since March.

Core retail sales are holding up even as spending is shifting back to services like restaurants, recreation and air travel as Americans learn to live with the COVID-19 pandemic.

High inflation has made consumers more price sensitive, leaving retailers with excess inventory and forcing them to offer price discounts. Retail bellwether Walmart on Tuesday said that it had cleared most of its summer seasonal inventory but still had work to do in reducing its stock of electronics, home goods and apparel.

(Reporting by Lucia Mutikani; Editing by Paul Simao and Mark Porter)


© Reuters 2022
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Financials (USD)
Sales 2023 595 B - -
Net income 2023 14 749 M - -
Net Debt 2023 42 490 M - -
P/E ratio 2023 24,6x
Yield 2023 1,70%
Capitalization 360 B 360 B -
EV / Sales 2023 0,68x
EV / Sales 2024 0,65x
Nbr of Employees 2 300 000
Free-Float 51,6%
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Mean consensus BUY
Number of Analysts 41
Last Close Price 132,53 $
Average target price 151,89 $
Spread / Average Target 14,6%
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Managers and Directors
C. Douglas McMillon President, Chief Executive Officer & Director
John David Rainey Chief Financial Officer & Executive Vice President
Gregory B. Penner Non-Executive Chairman
Clay Johnson Enterprise Chief Information Officer & EVP
Jerry R. Geisler Chief Information Security Officer & Senior VP
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