August 19, 2008
With the $100 billion tax rebate fading into history, retail sales lost steam in July. Total sales fell by 0.1%, and core sales excluding autos and gasoline rose by 0.3%, the weakest performance since February. Layoffs, sliding home prices, high consumer debt burdens, difficult credit markets and stubbornly high gas prices are taking their toll. The International Council of Shopping Centers forecasts 144,000 store closings this year, the highest jump in the 14-year history of the survey. Expect shopping center leasing market conditions to bottom out in mid-2009.
Source: Census Bureau, Grubb & Ellis
Robert Bach currently serves as senior vice president of research & client services at Grubb & Ellis Company in Chicago, Illinois and he can be contacted at (312) 698-6754. For more information about Grubb & Ellis Co., go to www.grubb-ellis.com.