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The world’s largest restaurant chain posted disappointing results this week, with worldwide sales at McDonald’s dropping 0.3 percent in February (analysts had expected a 0.1 percent drop). In America, the decline was even worse – a 1.4 percent decline that was more than twice the expected 0.6 percent drop.

Ouch …

Add it all up and McDonald’s has seen four consecutive months of sales declines – the longest streak in the past decade.

McDonald’s is facing pressure from rising beef prices (thank you, government ethanol mandates) and rising wages. It is also facing greater competition from chains like Starbucks, Subway and Taco Bell – which are intent on eroding McDonalds’ breakfast dominance.

Other factors are at work, though …

“Looking at this data, there are two observations: i) Americans, courtesy of record obesity rates, are finally getting serious about their health, and have shunned the infamous 99 cent deep fried meals or ii) courtesy of the Fed’s “recovery”, the average American can no longer even afford sub-$1 deep fast food,” the website Zero Hedge opines.

Cue Mark Knopfler …