A leaked email that was supposed to be an internal Walmart communication has left economists uncertain of what the future holds for all of America's economy. The Daily Beast has an article dated Feb. 19 that explains the concern about this Walmart sales report. Walmart's sales figures are often a measuring device for the whole U.S. economy.
According to the leaked email, first uncovered by Bloomberg, February sales at Walmart were a "disaster!"
"Where are all the customers?" asks an internal Walmart email published by Bloomberg last week. "And where's their money?" Another email states "In case you haven't seen a sales report these days, February [month to date] sales are a total disaster . . . the worst start to a month I have seen in my ~7 years with the company."
The Daily Beast explains that some of the issue may be the slowness of this year’s tax refund checks due to the last minute negotiations in Congress. Those customers who will use their refund for a large, once-a-year purchase may arrive a little later than normal to spend their money.
The cause for concern, however, is that the fourth quarter GDP figures from 2012 were also awful! The general tone of this article by Megan McArdle is that a meltdown may not be in sight yet, but unless things improve in the near future, it could be a serious economic indicator.