(Reuters) – Walmart Inc reported an estimate-beating jump in holiday quarter comparable sales on Tuesday as a strong economy boosted consumer spending and fueled more e-commerce purchases, sending shares of the world’s larger retailer up almost 5 percent.
The performance offered a glimpse into the health of the U.S. consumer as spending was helped by a strong labor market and cheaper gasoline prices.
Consumer - Change - Walmart - Chief - Financial
“We still feel pretty good about the consumer. We haven’t seen much of a change,” Walmart Chief Financial Officer Brett Biggs told Reuters. “The data we are seeing still looks pretty healthy. Gas prices are down year over year, which helps.”
U.S. retail sales recorded their biggest drop in more than nine years in December, the government reported last week, as receipts fell across the board, suggesting a sharp slowdown in economic activity at the end of 2018.
Sales - US - Holiday - Shopping - Season
Overall sales for the 2018 U.S. holiday shopping season hit a six-year high as shoppers were encouraged by early discounts, according to a Mastercard report in late December.
Walmart sales at U.S. stores open at least a year rose 4.2 percent, excluding fuel, in the fourth quarter ended Jan. 31. The gain exceeded analysts’...
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