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Wal-Mart boosts forecast

Bentonville, AR — Spurred by Back-to-School sales, Wal-Mart in a recorded call this morning said it has raised its comp-store expectations for August. The company is now projecting comp gains of 4 percent to 6 percent for the month, a step up from earlier prediction of a 3 percent to 5 percent comp increase.

Wal-Mart's comp increase in August 2002 was 3.8 percent. If the retailer hits the high end of its comp projection for August 2003, the jump would be its largest comp-store increase since a 7.9 percent jump in June 2002.

The strongest sales categories for the week ended Aug. 22 were food, electronics, men's apparel, hardware, pharmacy, toys and intimate apparel, the company said.