Council CEO: Northwest Arkansas Positioned to Pave Path to Recovery

by Northwest Arkansas Business Journal Staff  on Friday, Dec. 21, 2012 2:48 pm  

Also, construction is under way in the food court to convert a couple of the food-service areas into 1,200-SF shops, and the mall’s overall occupancy rate is “in the low 90 percent range,” he said.

“We’re feeling very good about where we’re headed in 2013, and very confident we’ll have some new activity,” Bishop said.

On a larger scale, Wall Street analysts expect Wal-Mart Stores Inc. to report a 5.4 percent increase in sales for its fiscal year, which ends Jan. 30. The world’s largest retailer, which recently reported it had its most successful “Black Friday” ever, will release fourth-quarter and fiscal-year earnings Feb. 21.

Kiplinger, a Washington, D.C.-based consumer finance publisher, said in its retail forecast that concerns that Congress won’t extend 2011’s payroll tax cut “will likely make consumers pull back on spending even more than they typically do in January.”

“However, we expect a pickup in consumer spending in the second half of the year as the economy shows more pep. That should help spark retail sales growth of about 5 percent for 2013 as a whole, though it’s less than the 6 percent gain expected for this year.”

 

 

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