Wal-Mart Reports Softening U.S. Sales

Company expects sales in October to grow 1-2%

On Oct. 9 Wal-Mart reported a slowdown in its U.S. sales growth in September and predicted weaker results in October. The figures, which exclude fuel and compare sales in stores that have been open a year, showed sales increased by 2.4% in September over 12 months -- lower than the 3% growth seen in August and July.

The giant discount chain said sales in October would grow by 1-2%.

The world's largest retailer said its U.S. performance in September was "solid," underlining that it had been forced to close some stories temporarily because of hurricanes.

In the troubled economic climate, economists expect consumers to scale back purchases of many non-essential goods. Heavy discounters like Wal-Mart are expected to fare better than other retailers.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2008

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