I was pleased to see today's news from the Commerce Department. In case you missed it, the Department reports that retail sales rose another 1.6 percent for the month of March, up a total of 7.6 percent since last year. What's more, major retailers are announcing expansion plans for 2010, whereas most businesses were stagnant for growth in 2009. The signs seem to be indicating that the clouds just might be parting for what has been a gloomy economy.
My own personal observations seem to back this up. Companies are once again beginning to explore the possibility of expansion through franchising or distribution models. More franchises are being sold. The Las Vegas Strip and casinos look busy. Restaurants are starting to look crowded again. New businesses are being built (gasp!), and commercial leases are being signed.
Of course, we're not out of the woods yet. But the news is certainly encouraging. Now, can we just get real estate prices to stablize?