Several weeks ago, I noted that we have two macro-level policy issues emanating from Washington that will slow growth, one of which is the payroll tax increase. It appears that we're starting to see that increase bite:
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. had the worst
sales start to a month in seven years as payroll-tax increases
hit shoppers already battling a slow economy, according to
internal e-mails obtained by Bloomberg News.
“In case you haven’t seen a sales report these days,
February MTD sales are a total disaster,” Jerry Murray, Wal-
Mart’s vice president of finance and logistics, said in a Feb.
12 e-mail to other executives, referring to month-to-date sales.
“The worst start to a month I have seen in my ~7 years with the
Murray’s comments about February sales follow disappointing
results from January, a month that Cameron Geiger, senior vice
president of Wal-Mart U.S. Replenishment, said he was relieved
to see end, according to a separate internal e-mail obtained by
“Have you ever had one of those weeks where your best-
prepared plans weren’t good enough to accomplish everything you
set out to do?” Geiger asked in a Feb. 1 e-mail to executives.
“Well, we just had one of those weeks here at Walmart U.S.
Where are all the customers? And where’s their money?”