FINANCE

Report: December saw slowest spending growth in three years

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Atlanta — Consumer spending reached a three-year low during the month of December, according to a report released Thursday by First Data Corp.

First Data’s SpendTrend tracks same-store consumer spending by credit, signature debit, PIN debit, EBT, closed-loop prepaid cards and checks at U.S. merchant locations.

Consumers stepped back from spending in December as the fiscal cliff debate continued, lingering effects of Superstorm Sandy persisted, and the initially less aggressive retail discounting environment for most of the month dampened shopping. Dollar volume growth was 4%, the lowest monthly growth in three years and a steep slowdown from the typical range between 6% and 10%.

Retail dollar volume and transaction growth slowed significantly from November as shoppers reigned in discretionary spending in the face of financial uncertainty. Retail dollar volume growth and transaction growth both hit 12-month lows at 2.9% and 1.4%. Most retail segments saw slower dollar volume growth compared with November.

Average ticket growth slipped to -0.5% as consumers spent cautiously. Retailers were more frugal with discounting strategies earlier in the month, which negatively impacted spending. As this appeared to negatively impact sales, many retailers then reversed course and rolled out more discounts later in the month to entice consumers and put a dent in the sluggish shopping season.

“Consumer spending took a big step back as concerns related to the fiscal cliff and the initially frugal discounting strategies by retailers’ dampened holiday spending,” said Rikard Bandebo, VP and economist, First Data. “Looking forward, consumer spending growth may slow as new fiscal policy is enacted in January and consumers take a small hit from the end of the payroll tax holiday. Fortunately, many consumer fundamentals are holding up well: job growth is steady, gas prices are falling, the housing market continues to turn the corner, and equity prices have also held up.”

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REAL ESTATE

Real estate continues recovery in Q4

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Los Angeles — CBRE Group reported Thursday that, despite sluggish economic growth, the U.S. commercial real estate market remained on a recovery path in fourth quarter 2012.

The retail availability rate declined slightly to 12.8%, down 10 bps compared with the previous quarter.

“The broken record of slow but positive progress toward a real estate recovery continues to repeat,” said Jon Southard, managing director of CBRE’s Econometric Advisors Group.

CBRE said that retailers remain wary of taking on substantial amounts of new space but the slow decline in availability continued with the rate falling to 12.8% in fourth quarter 2012, down 30 bps compared with the rate one year ago. A majority of the retail markets recorded either flat or declining availability rates compared with one quarter ago. Some notable performers were Denver, Cincinnati, Fort Worth, Kansas City and Minneapolis; each of these markets recorded a decline of at or above 60 bps. On the other end of the spectrum, markets such as Tulsa, Long Island and Bakersfield recorded increases in availability rates of at or over 50 bps in fourth quarter 2012.

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duyentran607 says:
Apr-20-2013 10:55 pm

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“The broken record of slow but positive progress toward a real estate recovery continues to repeat,” said Jon Southard, managing director of CBRE’s Econometric Advisors Group.Chatrandom.com

P.Lopez says:
Apr-10-2013 10:39 am

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Some notable performers were Denver, Cincinnati, Fort Worth, Kansas City and Minneapolis; each of these markets recorded a decline of at or above 60 bps. chat random

P.Lopez says:
Apr-10-2013 10:39 am

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A.Ansel says:
Mar-07-2013 01:50 pm

Another definition describes
Another definition describes retail space planning as the study of the distribution of space allotted to particular categories in relationship to their productivity and their inventory balances. Still another definition characterizes the term more literally and refers instead to store fixture layouts.cimaises

A.Ansel says:
Mar-07-2013 01:50 pm

Another definition describes retail space planning as the study of the distribution of space allotted to particular categories in relationship to their productivity and their inventory balances. Still another definition characterizes the term more literally and refers instead to store fixture layouts.cimaises

B.Barnaby says:
Mar-04-2013 09:56 pm

A person who is wanting to
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B.Barnaby says:
Mar-04-2013 09:56 pm

A person who is wanting to buy a new house or property oftentimes works with some financial institution, mortgage broker, or perhaps a a real estate broker. But the truth yet still remains to be that a home buyer can easily talk directly with the actual current home owner. click here

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FINANCE

Uniqlo parent records 17% leap in Q1 profit

BY Staff Writer

New York — Fast Retailing Co., parent to the Uniqlo chain, reported Thursday that net income for the fiscal first quarter jumped 17% to $644.3 million, boosted by strong same-store sales at Japan Uniqlo units.

On Wednesday, the company announced that Uniqlo will continue its U.S. expansion strategy by opening two new mall locations in New York.

The company has raised its annual profit forecast.

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