4/14: MetroIntelligence Economic Update by P. DUFFY

Consumer Price Index fell 0.4 percent in March but rose 1.5 percent year-on-year

The Consumer Price Index fell 0.4 percent in March, the largest monthly decline since January 2015.  This was due mostly to a sharp decline in the price of gasoline as well as dips in airline fares, lodging rates, new cars and apparel.
Indexes that increased in March include medical care, used cars and trucks, motor vehicle insurance, and education.
Over the last 12 months, the all items index increased 1.5 percent, a notably smaller increase than the 2.3-percent increase for the period ending in February.  The ‘core’ index for all items less food and energy fell 0.1 percent in March, its first monthly decline since January 2010, and rose 2.1 percent over the last 12 months.



Nearly 55 percent of retail floor space shuttered due to coronavirus

Nearly 4.8 billion square feet of retail floorspace has closed across the U.S., or 54.8 percent of the total, according to the latest figures from industry intelligence provider GlobalData.  That represents more than 258,366 store units that have shuttered, or 60.8 percent of the total—not including food service or service operators like gyms or spas.



Realtor survey indicates temporary plunge in buyer interest

According to 6,000 agents surveyed in the National Association of Realtors® Flash Survey: Economic Pulse, roughly 45% of respondents said buyer interest had plunged by more than half, whereas just 2% said they had seen an increase in eager buyers.  More than half of Realtors, 59%, said buyers are delaying their home-buying searches for at least a few months. And 13% said they’re seeing buyers postpone their searches and sellers hold off on listing their properties indefinitely.