CALABASAS, CA- As we near the mid-point in the calendar year, our latest barometer on trends confirms that a slow, steady expansion characterizes US economic performance, led by a solid rebound in housing, resilient consumer spending, broad-based private sector employment growth, and continued expansion in the energy and technology sectors.

This environment is having a much-needed impact on the retail real estate market, led by continued confidence by consumers. Retail sales have rebounded 11.8% from the pre-recession high, and the firming recovery in the residential sector will lift consumer spending as home sales and employment growth gain momentum.

Significant challenges remain, however, as consumers continue to adjust to high structural unemploy