On Wednesday the head of Wal-Mart Stores Inc said he did not see a quick end to the recession as there was still lot of stress present in the economy.

There's still a lot of stress, Wal-Mart CEO Mike Duke said on NBC's Today Show.

He referred the current situation as not simply a 'V' recession out of which we can simply bounce out of, but rather there are many challenges ahead and this would process that will take a “sustained change in the way that families live”, according to an interview with msnbc.com.

Duke made the comments a day after a government report showed that sales at U.S. retailers unexpectedly fell 1.1 percent in March, and came after Wal-Mart last week reported a lower-than-expected rise in March sales at U.S. stores open at least a year.

Hopes of the recession coming to an end are dashed after the reports and more and more consumers are choosing to spend only if they have cash rather than borrowing to spend.

Duke said that by the end of the month, just before traditional paydays, customers are left with only a few dollars to spend and are buying smaller quantities than at the beginning of the month.

Wal-Mart is America’s largest retail private employer with 1.4 million associates in the U.S.