Purchases of essentials are increasingly clustering around payday:
Wal-mart: Scenes from the Economic Front Lines, by Paul Kedrosky: Wal-mart is like the Bureau of Economic Analyst of retail: It has all the data you wish you had about what's going on in the economy, plus more -- and it has it all in realtime. With that in mind, here are some alternately choice and concerning nuggets from a speech today by the company's president in Los Angeles:
- Credit is declining as a form of payment at Wal-mart. It will be down double-digits this year, he said.
- Spending spikes around pay periods have become much more pronounced, implying that many Wal-mart shoppers are living check-to-check.
- For the first time the company is seeing a paycheck-related spike in purchases of baby formula, suggesting some real teetering out there.