Former Walmart CEO Bill Simon was optimistic Saturday about the nation’s economic recovery, telling Fox News host Neil Cavuto that the American consumer is “strong.”
Simon’s comments came after the Labor Department released June’s jobs report, which showed employment rising faster than expected after coronavirus shutdowns. According to Thursday’s report, the U.S. added 4.8 million jobs, bringing the unemployment rate down to 11.1 percent.
“It is a bit surprising,” Simon said of the employment numbers, “but, you know, it honestly shows the resilience that the consumer has had throughout this whole thing.”
LABOR SECRETARY REACTS TO ‘TERRIFIC’ JUNE JOBS REPORT, SAYS CORONAVIRUS TASK FORCE MUST HAVE ‘ONGOING ROLE’
“The consumer went into the coronavirus lockdown in very, very good shape, and I think we’re seeing them follow through with it. There’s still a lot of money in the market. The unemployment [benefits] — enhanced unemployment’s still in effect. The stimulus is out there, and I think people are feeling better about where they were. And now this latest spike, I think we’re going to need to digest that and see what happens. But, by and large, the consumer’s still very strong.”
Simon added that the markets indicate that investors have confidence in the economic recovery.
CLICK HERE TO GET COMPLETE CORONAVIRUS COVERAGE
“Markets typically … move based on what people project is going to happen, not what’s happening. So I think … the levels the markets are at today indicate that most investors believe there’ll be a recovery, a substantial recovery, in the next 12 months, and they’re putting their money in place in order to take advantage of it,” he said.
“It’s really hard to imagine that we could have gone through the shock to the economy that we’ve gone through, and the markets be where they were and the consumer be where they are. But thankfully, that’s what’s happened, and I think that bodes pretty well going forward.”