The economy continues to remain sturdy with another strong job report. In the month of March, non farm payroll employment increased by 196,000. This report marks the United States’ 102nd continuous straight month of employment gains. The unemployment rate remained at 3.8% nationally with the unemployment rate for the Tampa MSA at 3.4% preliminary (BLS). As the first quarter of 2019 came to an end, the economy proved to perform well with continued job growth and low unemployment.
Wages continue to grow by approx. 3% with inflation at approx. 1.5%, and hiring remains strong. This bodes well for the economy as we end Q1 2019. Manufacturing appears to be slowing slightly, shrinking in March after being flat in February. Continued month-over-month job growth is a great thing for our economy. Investors continue to remain cautiously optimistic and search for yield as they deploy capital. Local shopping center investors have expressed hesitation, but continuously seek out opportunities with value-add upside. During the first 90 days of 2019, 5 shopping centers sold in Hillsborough and 3 transacted in Pinellas County.