Will the Stimulus Bill Help Retail?

The ARRA (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act) commonly known as the stimulus bill, was signed into law on February 17, 2009. It retailed for a cool $787 billion and was supposed to ignite economic recovery. An integral indicator and part of that recovery is retail, as it is the primary outlet for our famed “consumerism”. Today, nearly half a year later, the future remains cloudy.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau: “The retail availability rate rose to 12%, a 50-bps increase from the previous quarter. However, the rate of increase slowed from Q1 2009 when retail availability rose 80-bps”. This seems consistent with retail sales numbers, indicating a trend whereby conditions are worsening, but at a slower rate than before.

Note: Availability is a space that is actively being marketed and available for tenant build-out within twelve months.

What can we take away from all of this? On the surface things are worse than 2008 and conditions have declined from Q1 to Q2. However the rate of decline has been leveling out, indicating that we may be close to hitting “bottom”, just how close we are, remains unknown. So we leave off with a cliffhanger, the question is: Will people be buying TV’s to see the ending? Let us know your thoughts.

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Guest Blogger: Calkain Companies
Calkain Companies, Inc. is a national, boutique commercial real estate firm, focusing on net lease investments, that provides brokerage and consulting services for both private and institutional clientele.