Consumers in U.S. Hold Negative Economic Outlook as Fuel Climbs

Consumers in U.S. Hold Negative Economic Outlook as Fuel Climbs

Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

Depressed expectations may hold back spending at retailers including Wal-Mart Stores Inc. The world’s largest retailer today projected first-quarter profit that trailed analysts’ estimates as the payroll tax limits spending among its lower-income shoppers.