Thursday, September 10, 2009

Looks like Christmas in July Two Thousand and something

(The consumer is the economy stupid!-AM)

(Reuters) - Wal-Mart Stores Inc (WMT.N) is expecting a "late Christmas" as consumers continue to carefully manage spending, CEO Mike Duke said at an investor conference on Thursday.

Duke said shoppers are keeping a watchful eye on prices and are less likely than before to stock up on items or to purchase lower-quality "throw-away" items.

Consumer spending, an important driver of the U.S. economy, has fallen off sharply during what has become the longest and deepest recession since the Great Depression.

"This is the new normal. This is not something that is going to change," Duke said at the Goldman Sachs Global Retail Conference.

Duke said the world's largest retailer is prepared for the upcoming winter holidays, but that he expects "it will be a late Christmas."

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