Bania Roundtable
Weak volume trends on top of deflation is an unusual condition affecting US. grocery sales, said analyst Kelly Bania, shown here in last year's SN Financial Analysts Roundtable.

Weakening grocery volume puzzles analysts

IRI figures show sales deteriorated in December, weakest in California

U.S. grocery sales continued to slump in December, as deflated prices remained but volume slowed on top of it, painting a puzzling picture of weakening demand, an analyst told SN.

For the four weeks ended Dec. 18, IRI said dollar sales were down by 1.7% and volume was down by 2.3% for U.S. grocery stores, excluding mass merchants like Walmart. That marked the second-weakest monthly sales growth figure since 2010 when BMO Capital Markets began tracking such data, BMO analyst Kelly Bani

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