A cool, wet spring

"Wal-Mart Stores Inc. reported a 14% rise in fiscal first-quarter
earnings on a 9.5% increase in sales, but the results fell short of the
company’s expectations because of high gasoline prices and cool, wet
spring weather."

Wow. Spring was cool and wet.

What are the odds of that ever happening?

Its a shame there isn’t some sort of aphorism or nursery rhyme that could clue us in to the extremely unlikely possibility of increased precipitation in the fourth month of the year. Who knows? Maybe this unusual weather activity might generate a significant uptick in foliage bloomings in the fifth month?   

I’m going to have to go back to the Farmer’s almanac and see if I can’t figure out this difficult, meteorological conundrum.

Rain in the Spring. Who’da thunk it?


UPDATE May 12, 2005   10:16am
It turns out there actually is a way to figure out the weather in the Spring!  You can hear it here, or read it here.


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What's been said:

Discussions found on the web:
  1. Arthur Hill commented on May 12

    I don’t know about the Wal-marts in your area, but I avoid our local Wal-mart like the plague. It is dirty, congested and in general dissarray. Target, on the other hand, is a totally different experience. Clean, uncongested and ordered. I think a lot of people just don’t like the experience of going to Wal-mart.

  2. The Stalwart commented on May 12

    Excuses Excuses

    The Big Picture: A cool, wet springWal-Mart came out with dissapointing earnings today blaming both the price of oil (concievable), and

  3. John commented on May 12

    T.S. Eliot:

    APRIL is the cruellest month, breeding
    Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
    Memory and desire, stirring
    Dull roots with spring rain.

  4. lee commented on May 12

    Apropos: Read today that Hawaii real estate sales are booming. Local realtor attributed it to, among other things, nice spring weather. Wow, nice weather in Hawaii, what a lucky break for the real estate market…

  5. dsquared commented on May 13

    Note also “high gasoline prices”. This triggers my proprietary version of the “magazine cover indicator” which I call the “retailer excuse indicator”; any economic trend has more or less reached its end by the time it is commonly used as an excuse for poor performance by retailers. In the UK, we’re hearing about bad sales “because of the housing market”, I kid you not.

    If I ran a retailer then once in a while, just for a laugh, I would put out a press release saying “D2 Stores beat expectations by 5c with strong 15% same-store growth. However, this was nothing to do with management competence and entirely a result of favourable weather conditions and a late Easter”.

  6. Well Spent commented on May 13

    What is Wal-Mart Really Saying?

    Yesterday investors initially shrugged off Wal-Mart’s weak earnings news, partly because strong overall retail sales for April were announced at around the same time and weren’t half bad. But during the day investors became increasingly worried that Wa…

  7. calmo commented on May 14

    Thanks for the Eliot, j. A person who can read poetry and attend econ blogs is a rare bird.

    dsquared, folks don’t ask questions, questions about not-so-good outcomes, like “What Happened?” just to hear “I dunno”, so unlike that old Greek, we feel compelled to say something, yes?

    Our sense of marketing is deeply violated with this (“I dunno”) stunning response. Why is the client passing up an opportunity to hide in the herd (‘all of us performed pretty much the same’)? Why has “the weather” response eluded him? Is he trying to sell us a different set of goods with this “I dunno” stuff? Has he no decency? I dunno.
    You may have the UK experience in front of you but I’m not sure that “the housing market” is in the same boat as “the weather”.
    I kid you not.

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