McDonald's Corp. says a key sales figure fell in October, marking the first monthly drop in nearly a decade for the world's biggest hamburger chain.
The company, based in Oak Brook, Ill., says global sales at restaurants open at least a year fell 1.8 percent for the month. The last time the figure dropped was in 2003. The figure is a key metric because it strips out the impact of newly opened and closed locations.
The fast-food chain says the figure fell 2.2 percent in both the U.S. and Europe. In the region encompassing Asia, the Middle East and Africa, it dropped 2.4 percent.
After year of outperforming its rivals, McDonald's has seen sales slow recently as the company faces intensifying competition and a persistently weak economy.
McDonald's blames increased competition and a weak economy, but what if McDonald's is actually an inferior good (in the strict economic sense)? Could decreasing demand for greasy, cheap food (but admittedly yummy) be a sign that incomes are increasing?