Retail Sales Rise 1.2 Percent in July, Says Commerce Department

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Retail sales in July rose 1.2 percent on a month-over-month basis, the U.S. Commerce Department reported in its advanced estimate this morning. Total sales for the month clocked in at $536 billion, up from $529.4 billion in June. The Commerce Department reported sales reached $527 billion in February, marking the first time during the pandemic that retail sales have exceeded pre-pandemic levels. Furthermore, the Commerce Department revised its May to June growth up 90 basis …

First-Time Unemployment Claims Fall Below 1M for First Time in Five Months

WASHINGTON, D.C. — For the week ending Aug. 8, 963,000 people filed first-time unemployment claims, which marks the first time since the week ending March 14 that fewer than 1 million Americans filed for assistance, the U.S. Department of Labor reported this morning. The most recent figure is a 228,000 decrease on a week-over-week basis. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones were expecting 1.1 million claims for the week.The four-week moving average stood at nearly 1.3 million claims, a …

Simon Property Group Seeks to Acquire Distressed Retailers, Create Value

INDIANAPOLIS — During its second-quarter earnings call on Monday, Simon Property Group (NYSE: SPG) said it is “capitalizing on various value-creating opportunities.” Sparc Group, a joint venture between Simon and Authentic Brands Group, made bids to acquire bankrupt retailers Brooks Brothers and Lucky Brand. Brooks Brothers has selected Sparc as the winning bidder with a $325 million offer. Since Sparc is buying the brands out of bankruptcy, it is acquiring the inventory at or below cost, …

Retail Imports to See Lowest Annual Total in Four Years, Says NRF

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Retail imports at major U.S. ports are expected to see their lowest annual totals in four years as the coronavirus continues to affect the economy, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF). The NRF forecasts year-end 2020 totals to reach 19.6 million TEUs, which would be a 9.4 percent decrease from 2019 and the lowest number seen since the 19.1 million TEUs of imports in 2016.The NRF and Hackett Associates released their monthly Global Port Tracker report, …

Marriott Reports RevPAR Declined 84.4 Percent at its Hotels Worldwide in Second Quarter

BETHESDA, MD. — Marriott International (Nasdaq: MAR) has reported that its second-quarter revenue per available room (RevPAR) declined 84.4 percent worldwide at its hotels due to the coronavirus pandemic. RevPAR in its North American portfolio dropped 83.6 percent. Additionally, the hotelier’s occupancy rates are slowly recovering, having reached 34 percent during the week ending Aug. 1 after bottoming out at 11 percent April 11.Currently, 91 percent of the company’s hotels are open, …

Nearly 80 Percent of Apartment Households Paid August Rent, NMHC Finds

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC) has reported that 79.3 percent of apartment households have paid August rent as of Aug. 6. NMHC surveyed its network of 11.4 million professionally managed units as part of its Rent Payment Tracker metric. The latest figure is a decrease of 233,000 households, or 1.9 percent, from August 2019. However, the total number of those paying rent is an increase from July 6, 2020, in which 77.4 percent paid rent.President Donald …

Regency Centers’ NOI Drops 20.1 Percent in Second Quarter Due to Pandemic

JACKSONVILLE, FLA. — During its second-quarter earnings call, Regency Centers Corp. (Nasdaq: REG) reported same-property net operating income of $162.3 million for the three months ending June 30, a 20.1 percent year-over-year decrease. The Jacksonville-based company says all 415 of its shopping centers nationwide have remained open during the COVID-19 pandemic, with 95 percent of its tenants being open as of July 31. Regency Centers collected 72 percent of base rents for the quarter and has …

U.S. Economy Adds Nearly 1.8M Jobs as Unemployment Rate Falls to 10.2 Percent

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. economy added nearly 1.8 million jobs in July and the unemployment rate fell 90 basis points to 10.2 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported Friday. The uptick on nonfarm payroll employment beat expectations as economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal anticipated just under 1.5 million jobs to be added.Though the latest job tally surpassed expectations, Ball State University economist Michael Hicks cautions against drawing sweeping …

Nearly 1.2M Americans File First-Time Unemployment Claims, Lowest Weekly Figure Since COVID-19 Outbreak

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Nearly 1.2 million Americans filed for first-time unemployment assistance during the week ending Aug. 1. The latest figure is the lowest weekly total since the COVID-19 pandemic hit the United States. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones expected 1.4 million claims for the week.There have now been 20 consecutive weeks of initial claims totaling more than 1 million filings.The four-week moving average was 1.3 million claims, a decrease of 31,000 from the previous …

McAllen Convention Center Becomes Temporary Healthcare Facility for COVID-19 Patients

MCALLEN, TEXAS — The administration of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has converted the McAllen Convention Center, located in the Rio Grande Valley near Mexico, into a temporary healthcare facility for COVID-19 patients. Texas, one of the first states to reopen, has seen a sharp rise in COVID-19 cases in recent weeks, recording as many as 8,000 new cases per day during some stretches. The 174,000-square-foot facility has the capacity to house as many as 250 patients, but it opened on Tuesday with the …

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