The US economy seems to be slowing down, with recent data showing that consumer spending, hiring activity, business activity, and housing are all suffering. Friday’s monthly jobs report will give a better idea of the economy’s health. The US labor market has been strong, but a slowdown in the jobs report could signal a change. Meanwhile, the strength of the American consumer, which has been propping up the US economy, appears to be weakening. Spending momentum cooled in February, and analysts expect more weakness in March. The economy is not in great shape, and it’s unlikely to improve in the coming months.

Geopolitical tensions, such as strained ties between China and the United States and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, have led to increased financial isolation and slowed international investments. This has hurt payment systems and asset prices, undermining global financial stability. The International Monetary Fund warns that these tensions could increase banks’ funding costs, lower their profitability, and reduce their lending to the private sector, further fueling instability.

Walmart plans to slow its pace of hiring in the coming year and focus on building out AI technology to serve customers. The retailer aims to depend heavily on automation to achieve its goal of adding more than $130 billion, or 4%, in sales over the next five years. Walmart also plans to service about 65% of its stores by automation by 2026 and expects 55% of fulfillment center volumes to go through automated warehouses in the next three years, which it says would lower unit cost prices by 20%.

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By hassani

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