Big stores see how we spend. Here are 4 things they say about the economy | WUWM 89.7 FM

It’s a tentative sort of anxiety. Large store chains such as Walmart, Home Depot and T.J.Maxx are steeling for a tricky year, given that shoppers have begun cutting back — but how much further? Some retailers, such as Best Buy and Macy’s, are already feeling the slowdown.

More than a dozen retailers have dropped a flurry of financial reports in recent weeks. They have a broad view of consumer spending, which is a key driver of the U.S. economy. Here’s what they say.

People are still spending, though stores’ forecasts are cautious

Discounts during the holidays and a fairly warm January brought shoppers out to malls and department stores in a surprise shopping spree to start the year. Big-box and food giants — Walmart, Costco, Target, Kroger, McDonald’s and others — reported growing sales thanks to higher prices on food and essentials.

McDonald’s CEO Chris Kempczinski said the U.S.

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