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Shopping center demand slows amid sluggish growth in jobs
Written by Delphos   
Friday, February 01, 2013 6:24 PM

Retailer demand for space at U.S. shopping centers slowed in the fourth quarter amid sluggish economic and employment growth, Reis Inc. (REIS) said.

Occupied space at neighborhood and community shopping centers rose by a net 2.25 million square feet (209,000 square meters), down from 4.12 million square feet a year earlier, the New York-based real estate research firm said today. While it was the sixth consecutive quarter of positive net absorption, “demand remains incredibly weak,” Reis said in its report.

Slow growth in the U.S. economy and an unemployment rate stuck at almost 8 percent are leading to smaller declines in retail-center vacancies. Gross domestic product growth of about 2 percent last year was “a clear disappointment,” Reis said. Until economic growth and labor-market gains shift into a “higher gear,” consumer spending will be muted, said Ryan Severino, a Reis senior economist.


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