BUSINESS AND MONEY
Peter Duncan 1, Jul 5 mins
5 mins
The Ritz Herald
© CREFC
Sentiment for the U.S. economy remained sharply negative, with 83% saying the economy will perform worse over the next 12 months

The CRE Finance Council (CREFC), the industry association that exclusively represents the $5.1 trillion commercial and multifamily real estate finance industry, announced the results of its Second-Quarter 2022 CREFC Board of Governors’ (BOG) Sentiment Index. The Sentiment Index, initiated in the fourth quarter of 2017, captures the pulse of various industry constituents, including balance sheet and securitized lenders, loan and bond investors, private equity firms, debt funds, servicers, and rating agencies.

CREFC’s quarterly Sentiment Index is derived from the Board’s responses to 10 core questions on the state of the CRE finance market. The Sentiment Index was initiated in the fourth quarter of 2017 and thus tracked markets pre-COVID, during COVID, and today as we continue to recover from the worst of the pandemic’s impact.

2Q 2022 Survey: Concerns Across Various Fronts Continue

Overall sentiment dropped sharply once again, from 80.5 in 1Q 2022 to 70.7 in 2Q 2022, a decline of 12%. This was the third-largest drop in the index following a 31% decline in early 2020, the first survey conducted after the pandemic’s beginning, and a 23% decline in the prior quarter (1Q 2022). The results of this quarter’s survey were not altogether surprising, given surging inflation, rising rates, and wider spreads – in addition to continued geopolitical risk.

Since year-end 2021, the U.S. economy has faced several extraordinary challenges, including:

  • Historical Levels of Inflation. Inflation is at the highest level in 40 years, resulting in a Federal Reserve that may be more aggressive in raising rates than initially planned. The challenge for the central bank to achieve a soft landing appears to be increasingly challenging.
  • Higher Benchmark Rates and Spreads. The 10-year U.S. Treasury yield began the…

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Democrats for the Illinois House, the official political arm of the Illinois House Democratic Caucus,
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Illinois, New Jersey and Delaware Had the Highest Foreclosure Rates in May 2022
The Ritz Herald

ATTOM, a leading curator of real estate data nationwide for land and property data, today released its May 2022 U.S. Foreclosure Market Report, which shows there were a total of 30,881 U.S. properties with foreclosure filings — default notices, scheduled auctions or bank repossessions — up 1 percent from…

Tibor Nagy, Leading Trial Lawyer and Co-Founding Partner at Dontzin Nagy LLP, on Litigation, Versatility, Cryptocurrency, and Betting on Oneself
The Ritz Herald

A law degree is one of the most valuable and widely applicable degrees someone can receive. Individuals with law degrees do not necessarily become lawyers, although many do. Those with an intimate understanding of the law are at a great advantage when it comes to working in many fields,…

Electric Last Mile Solutions, Inc. Announces Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Filing
The Ritz Herald

Electric Last Mile Solutions, Inc. (NASDAQ: ELMS), a pure-play commercial electric vehicle company that has been focused on redefining productivity for the last mile, announced the Company plans to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

In February 2022, following the resignations of Jim Taylor, the Company’s former Chief Executive Officer, and…

Transforming Hotels Into Senior Living Facilities: Can It Solve the Space Issue for Aging Baby Boomers?
The Ritz Herald

Advancements in science and healthcare are allowing people to live longer, healthier lives than ever before. This is great on the individual level, but it does present an interesting challenge for the population as a whole.

According to the United Nations, one in six people will be over the…

Union Ratifies Five-Year Agreement With Ardagh Metal Packaging
The Ritz Herald

The United Steelworkers said that members ratified a new, five-year agreement with Ardagh Metal Packaging covering about 500 workers at the company’s facilities in Chicago; Whitehouse, Ohio; Winston-Salem, N.C.; and Bishopville, S.C.

USW District 11 Director Emil Ramirez, who chaired the negotiations, said that workers showed…

7 mins
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The Ritz Herald
In the latest Fortune/Deloitte CEO Survey, approximately half of CEOs expect strong growth for their organizations over the next 12 months, a decline from just over five months ago

The Fortune/Deloitte CEO Survey series tracks the perspectives and actions of CEOs from the world’s largest and most influential companies. The survey gives key insights into CEOs’ priorities, challenges, and expectations across more than 15 industries, including technology, finance and health care.

As we enter the Summer of 2022, CEOs are becoming less optimistic, particularly about the global economy, where they see inflation and geopolitical instability having significant impacts on their businesses over the next 12 months. Still top of mind for CEOs, the effects of the “Great Resignation” also remain a major disruptor as business leaders deploy new tactics to attract and retain top talent.

CEOs see the year ahead as one of uncertainty and volatility

CEOs have traditionally remained a beacon of hope and optimism throughout turbulent times. However, after leading their organizations through an unprecedented health crisis over the last two years and now facing a new wave of social, political and economic disruptions, survey participants indicated their biggest challenges today are “uncertainty” and “volatility.” Other top challenges noted were “inflation,” “managing stakeholders,” “supply chain,” and “navigating change.”

When this survey was fielded in January 2022, there was a balance in CEOs’ expectations for 2022, with…

4 mins
Super 8 by Wyndham in San Bruno, California. © Wyndham Hotels & Resorts
The Ritz Herald
Cloud-based, mobile-first solution from industry leader IDeaS prioritizes owner control and flexibility, pairing state-of-the-art capabilities with performance-driving data and analytics

Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, the world’s largest hotel franchising company with more than 8,900 hotels across over 95 countries, today unveiled RevIQ, a next-generation, cloud-based, mobile-first revenue management system designed to help franchisees further optimize their revenue strategies and grow market share.

Created in collaboration with IDeaS, an industry leader in hotel revenue management software, RevIQ is built specifically for the needs of Wyndham franchisees and is designed to deliver top-tier performance while keeping control, flexibility and simplicity at the forefront. Leveraging real-time data and analytics to make automatic pricing recommendations and adjustments, the platform seamlessly integrates with Wyndham’s best-in-class property management systems and allows franchisees to optimize their strategies based on their own market insights—a key competitive differentiator.

“No one knows their business, competition or market better than our franchisees,” said Vikram Pradhan, group vice president, Global Revenue Management, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts. “For those reasons, it was critical we create a platform that, while powerful and robust in its data and analytics, also enables franchisees to incorporate their own knowledge and insights. RevIQ does exactly that, making it a simple, intuitive, easy-to-use tool that is as beneficial to experienced hoteliers as it is to those running their very first…

U.S. Private Sector Employment Increased by 128,000 Jobs in May
The Ritz Herald

Private sector employment increased by 128,000 jobs from April to May according to the May ADP® National Employment Report. Broadly distributed to the public each month, free of charge, the ADP National Employment Report is produced by the ADP Research Institute in collaboration with Moody’s Analytics. The report, which…

Global, Domestic Impediments Will Slow Down Economy, but No Recession Yet
The Ritz Herald

In March, the UCLA Anderson Forecast cited the uncertainties facing the U.S. and California economies. Seemingly, just as the economy was returning to normal as the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic began to abate, the Russian invasion of Ukraine destabilized global economic conditions.

In the UCLA Anderson Forecast’s June reports…

U.S. Housing Activity Expected to Slow Further as Affordability Worsens
The Ritz Herald

Persistent inflation, rising interest rates, and a slowdown of global economic growth are the primary contributing factors to updated expectations that full-year 2022 real GDP will grow at the reduced rate of 1.3 percent, 0.8 percentage points less than previously predicted, according to the May 2022 commentary from the…

Chief Human Resource Officers Have an Additional Focus: ESG Issues
The Ritz Herald

The events of the past two years—including a pandemic, social strife, and the Great Resignation—have upended the role of the chief human resource officer (CHRO). Now, CHROs are being called on to play a greater part in addressing the environmental, social, and governance (ESG) matters—both the risks and opportunities…

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index for the U.S. Fell in April
The Ritz Herald

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for the U.S. decreased by 0.3 percent in April to 119.2 (2016 = 100), following a 0.1 percent increase in March. The LEI is now up 0.9 percent over the six-month period from October 2021 to April 2022.

“The US LEI declined in…

8 mins
The Ritz Herald
Times Square, New York City. © James Ting
Virtual reality sees 36% growth as gaming and esports are on pace to become a $324 billion business
By / Senior Writer

The global entertainment & media (E&M) industry surged ahead last year, strongly outpacing overall global economic growth. Following a pandemic-related 2.3% decline in 2020, E&M revenue rose a strong 10.4% in 2021, from US$2.12trn to US$2.34trn. With the industry becoming more digital, more mobile and more youth-oriented, virtual reality (VR) and gaming are powerful growth drivers, while digital advertising permeates all of the industry. These are findings from PwC’s Global Entertainment & Media Outlook 2022-2026, the 23rd annual analysis and forecast of E&M spending by consumers and advertisers across 52 countries and territories.

Findings in this year’s Outlook include:

  • Global video games and esports revenue totaled US$215.6bn in 2021 and is forecast to grow at a 8.5% CAGR to US$323.5bn in 2026. Asia Pacific generated the lion’s share of revenues in 2021 with US$109.4bn, almost double North America, the second highest region. Gaming is now the third-largest data-consuming E&M content category, behind video and communications.
  • VR continues to be the fastest-growing E&M segment, albeit from a relatively small base. Global VR spend rose by 36% y-o-y in 2021 to US$2.6bn, following on the hot 39% growth in 2020. Growth between 2021 and 2026 is expected at 24% CAGR, bringing the segment to US$7.6bn. Gaming content is the primary contributor to VR revenue, taking in US$1.9bn in 2021. This should increase to US$6.5bn in 2026, 85% of total VR revenue.
  • Advertising’s spread throughout the digital world has made it a dominant industry category. After a decline of nearly 7% in 2020, advertising grew an impressive 22.6%…

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38% of Investors Pulled Money From Stock Market Due to Current Events in the Past Year
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The traditional advice is to hold on to investments during turbulent times, but a new MagnifyMoney survey finds that some investors are going against the experts. Due to the current events of the past year, nearly 40% of investors say they have pulled money from the stock market, with…

USW Announces Tentative Agreement With Arconic on Four-Year Contract
The Ritz Herald

The United Steelworkers (USW) said that the union has reached a tentative agreement on a new, four-year master contract with Arconic (NYSE: ARNC) covering roughly 3,400 workers in Davenport, Iowa; Alcoa, Tenn.; Lafayette, Ind.; and Massena, N.Y.

USW District 11 Director Emil Ramirez, who chaired the negotiations, said the tentative…

28 secs
© Marley White
The Ritz Herald
The next release is scheduled for Thursday, July 21, 2022, at 10 AM ET

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index (LEI) for the U.S. decreased by 0.4 percent in May 2022 to 118.3 (2016 = 100), following a 0.4 percent decline in April 2022. The LEI is now down 0.4 percent over the six-month period from November 2021 to May 2022.

“The US LEI fell again in May, fueled by tumbling stock prices, a slowdown in housing construction, and gloomier consumer expectations,” said Ataman Ozyildirim, Senior Director of Economic Research at The Conference Board. “The index is still near a historic high, but the US LEI suggests weaker economic activity is likely in the near term—and tighter monetary policy is poised to dampen economic growth even further.”

The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index (CEI) for the U.S. increased by 0.2 percent in May 2022 to 108.8 (2016 = 100), following a 0.5 percent increase in April 2022. The CEI is up 1.3 percent over the six-month period from November 2021 to May 2022.

The Conference Board Lagging Economic Index (LAG) for the U.S. increased by 0.8 percent in May 2022 to 112.9 (2016 = 100), following a 0.4 percent increase in April 2022. The LAG is up 3.7 percent over the six-month period from November 2021…

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U.S. Home Sales Down Year Over Year as Inventory Grows in May

Roscha / RH
Although May is one of the most active months of the year for home sales, closings in May 2022 were 8.5% lower than May 2021. They did, however, climb 5.8%
As Corporate Political Activity Becomes Riskier, Companies Need a Full-Scale Review of Their Strategy
The Ritz Herald

A survey by The Conference Board released earlier this year found that fully two-thirds of companies found the environment for corporate political activity to be challenging to extremely challenging. And nearly all (87 percent) believed 2022 would be at least as challenging. That is proving true, as the combination…

Small Business Spending Increases 16% Year-Over-Year in April
The Ritz Herald

The Bank of America Institute released its findings from its first Small Business Checkpoint, a new publication that aims to provide a holistic and real-time estimate of Small Business financial activity, spending and financial well-being, leveraging the breadth and depth of Bank of America proprietary data from its approximately…

U.S. Employment Report Shows Continued Solid Job Growth
The Ritz Herald

The jobs report showed further job gains in April, following months of solid growth in the first quarter of 2022. The labor market continues to expand, especially in in-person services and in other industries that have yet to fully recover job losses incurred since the pandemic. Severe labor shortages…