"Wal-Mart's core shoppers are running out of money much faster than a year ago due to rising gasoline prices, and the retail giant is worried, CEO Mike Duke said Wednesday.
"We're seeing core consumers under a lot of pressure," Duke said at an event in New York. "There's no doubt that rising fuel prices are having an impact."
Wal-Mart shoppers, many of whom live paycheck to paycheck, typically shop in bulk at the beginning of the month when their paychecks come in.
Lately, they're "running out of money" at a faster clip, he said.
"Purchases are really dropping off by the end of the month even more than last year," Duke said. "This end-of-month [purchases] cycle is growing to be a concern."
If all you ever listen to is the government line on the economy you'd think that the recovery is nicely underway, job growth is healthy and inflation is nonexistent. Well, I suppose if you're a public employee then all these things may be true.
But out here in the world of blue collar people life isn't quite as rosy and the statement from Walmart above is probably the most accurate picture of reality I've heard in a while. And this new reality is starting to move into the white collar world pretty quickly, too.
Perversely, as gas and food prices continue to rise because the Fed continues to print money to support the banks and the stock market there's going to be less and less money to go around among the working class. And that money is going to be worth less wile the prices skyrocket.
Stagflation has returned.