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The ICSC survey tracks key performance indicators monthly for the European shopping centre industry
While anecdotal evidence of more than satisfactory Christmas trading is trickling in to us here at REFIRE from retail quarters, the month of November saw conditions for European shopping centres improve to build on recent trends, according to the International Council of Shopping Centres Europe’ (ICSC) latest monthly reading.
The ICSC survey tracks key performance indicators monthly for the European shopping centre industry. Its key ICSC Euro-Shop Index combines two sub indices in equal measure – the Euro-Shop Current Conditions Index and the Euro-Shop Expectations Index.
The association’s latest pan-European Shopping Centre Executive Opinion Survey shows a rise in the flagship Euro-Shop Index in November over the previous month, although the index shows occupancy and visitor traffic actually down for the month (although well higher than a year ago). The pace of growth was seen slowing, with retailers showing renewed resistance to accept landlord terms on new leases.
According to ICSC research analyst Sarah Banfield, “While their confidence remains higher than last year, and shopping centre executives across Europe surveyed for the index remain upbeat about current and future business conditions, they are not underestimating the challenge ahead with economic growth across much of Europe remaining stubbornly low - 0.1% in third quarter.
Despite the fact that Eurozone unemployment has fallen for the first time since February 2011, to 12.1% in October, the association is still cautious about the medium term. “Looking further ahead, the European Commission forecasts growth of 1.1% for 2014 and 1.7% for 2015, highlighting the fact that recovery is expected to be a slow process”, said Banfield.