Two new stories today that just happened to be located one after the other in my news feed illustrate the divide between what most of us are experiencing, and how the Very Serious People at the top — the ones who can actually do something to improve things for regular, working people — think the good times are rolling.
First, the bad news at the bottom, Walmart cuts profit outlook on shopper worries,
Walmart Stores Inc. cut its annual profit and revenue outlook Thursday as the world’s largest retailer expects a tough economy at home and abroad to continue to squeeze its low-income shoppers through the rest of the year.
… Walmart’s sober assessment of consumer spending adds to worries in earnings from Macy’s Inc. and Kohl’s Corp. Both lowered their expectations for the year after reporting disappointing results.
Walmart is considered an economic bellwether because the retailer accounts for nearly 10 percent of non-automotive retail spending in the U.S. The latest performance indicates that many American households continue to struggle in a yo-yo economic recovery.
But the top is thinking things are hunky-dory, U.S. jobs, inflation data support tapering of Fed bond buying,
… economists remained upbeat on the economy’s prospects in the second half of the year, with a strengthening housing market recovery seen lending support.
“The data continues to improve and impress the marketplace and I think the data will continue in this direction. Then the question becomes not whether they are tapering in September, but how much,” said … [some Very serious Person]
Recovery summer. Green shoots.