US retail titan Wal-Mart has said it is optimistic about the forthcoming holiday season and it expects a "strong finish" to the year.

"When we put new items out there we see customers have a willingness to spend," chief executive Lee Scott was quoted by Reuters as saying. "The economy is improving, we have lower inventory levels and that should lead to rational pricing."

Scott added that he'd like the company to improve its same-store sales and beat expectations more often, reported Reuters.

The company, which yesterday announced aggressive expansion plans, also confirmed its forecast for third-quarter earnings to be at the low end of the 52 to 54 cents per share range. Full-year earnings are expected to be between $2.36 and $2.40 per share.