The Canadian News

World’s wealthiest family loses $16 billion in single day

By Richard Wood 

Body found on an Adelaide beach more than 70 years ago, nicknamed the Somerton Man, identified.

The fortune of the world’s richest family tumbled by $US11.4 billion ($16.4 billion) after US retail giant Walmart cut its earnings forecast for the second time this year.

Shares of the retailer, which is controlled by the Walton family, fell by 7.6 per cent in US trading on Tuesday (Wednesday AEST) after it said adjusted earnings per share will decline as much as 13 per cent this year, Bloomberg reports.

Shares in Walmart, the biggest US retail company, closed 7.6 per cent lower.

Jim Walton (from left), Alice Walton and Rob Walton are the heirs to the Walmart fortune, and are worth a combined $285 billion. (AP)

Two months ago, the company said earnings per share would only fall about 1 per cent, while in February, it had forecast a small increase.

The founder of Walmart, the late Sam Walton, built the company on discounting much of its stock. In the past, the policy has helped protect its stock price during economic recessions.

Today his three surviving children, Jim, Alice and Rob, daughter-in-law Christy and Christy’s son, Lukas, own just under half of the company.

They are worth a combined total of $285 billion.

But Walmart and other US retail giants have been hit by shoppers pulling back on buying clothing and other discretionary items amid the highest inflation in 40 years.

Recession stalking US economy

By one common definition, the US economy is on the cusp of a recession. Yet that definition isn’t the one that counts.

On Thursday, when the government estimates the gross domestic product (GDP) for the April-June period, some economists think it may show that the economy shrank for a second straight quarter. That would meet a longstanding assumption for when a recession has begun.

But economists say that wouldn’t mean that a recession had started.

During those same six months when the economy might have contracted, US businesses and other employers added a prodigious 2.7 million jobs – more than were gained in most entire years before the pandemic. Wages are also rising at a healthy pace, with many employers still struggling to attract and retain enough workers.

The job market’s strength is a key reason why the Federal Reserve is expected to announce another hefty hike in its short-term interest rate on Wednesday, one day before the GDP report.

Several Fed officials have cited the healthy job growth as evidence that the economy should be able to withstand higher rates and avoid a downturn.

Many economists, though, are dubious of that assertion.

– Reported with Associated Press

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