McDonald's Sees Slowdown in U.S. Sales Growth

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McDonald's Sees Slowdown in U.S. Sales Growth

CHICAGO -- McDonald's Corp. yesterday reported a 5.1 percent increase in May sales at restaurants open at least 13 months. The growth was down compared to April, when global same-store sales rose 6.9 percent, according to a report by Reuters.

Helped by new coffee drinks and snacks, May same-restaurant sales were up 2.8 percent in the United States, significantly slower than the 6.1 percent growth posted in April.

The world's largest hamburger chain is one of the restaurant industry's top performers largely because its Dollar Menu has been attracting diners amid a lengthy recession that has sent unemployment sharply higher, Reuter reported. Fast-food restaurants generally have held up better in this tough economy than higher-priced sit-down restaurants.

The stronger U.S. dollar—which lessens the dollar value of overseas sales—led to an overall 0.4-percent decline at worldwide McDonald's restaurants. Sales rose 7 percent in constant currencies. McDonald's May same-store sales increased 7.6 percent in Europe, and 6.4 percent in the company's Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa segment. In April, same-store sales in the two regions were up 8.4 and 6.5 percent, respectively.

The company is scheduled to report second-quarter results July 23.

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