Faced with warnings that the recession could slide into a lengthy period of deflation and stagnation, U.S. President-elect Barack Obama is preparing to ask Congress for as much as $310 billion in tax cuts as part of his huge stimulus package. Data are painting an ever-darker picture of the economy, with a report on U.S. jobs that is scheduled for release this week expected to show that at least 500,000 jobs disappeared in December.
Some developers with strong anchors and leasing plans are plowing ahead with development and redevelopment projects. Alabama developers are hoping to continue retail growth despite pressures from the economy.
Consumers are expected to take advantage of retailers' relaxed return policies. A big majority -- 86% -- of parents surveyed Christmas Day said they'd return their children's gifts if they didn't love them, and a manager at one store said that some days in the past week saw more returns than sales.
A number of store closings are projected this year, but a good strategy for growth should keep a single bad season from killing retailers, an industry group representative said. Most chains use models that take into account where competitors and complementary stores are when choosing new locations.
The commercial real estate industry is lobbying the Treasury Department for a credit facility to shore up CRE loans as part of the Troubled Asset Relief Program. "We are not talking about loans on speculative properties or overly optimistic assumptions. A credit facility would support debt for existing cash flowing properties," said Clifton Rodgers of the Real Estate Roundtable.