• Annual Inflation Drops As Monthly Costs Rise, Casinos Win Record Revenue, Plans for Business Park in

    Annual Inflation Drops As Monthly Costs Rise

    The annual inflation rate slid to 8.3%, though still near a 40-year high, as consumer prices rose 0.3% in April, according to the Labor Department. The data could affect property demand in industries including retail, restaurants, auto sales and air travel.

    The biggest contributors to the consumer price gain included housing, food, airline fares and new vehicle sales. The food index was up 0.9% from March, reflecting a trend of restaurants raising menu prices to deal with higher food and labor costs.

    Food away from home now costs 7.2% more than a year earlier, but food at home was up even more at 10.8%, the largest annual increase since the period ending in November 1980, the Labor Department reported.

    Airline fares rose 18.6% in April from the prior month, the largest one-month increase since 1963 and a sign of potential trouble for travel-dependent industries including hotels and theme parks, businesses that have been reporting steady pandemic rebounds in the past few months.

    Some types of retail property owners could find relief in the numbers. The apparel cost index fell 0.8% in April from the prior month, ending a string of six consecutive increases, and the index for used cars and trucks fell 0.4%, the third straight decline after several months of increases.

    Casinos Win Record Revenue

    The house won bigger than ever in the first quarter, as U.S. casinos hauled in a record $14.3 billion, according to the American Gaming Association.

    The trade group said Wednesday the industry is off to its fastest start for any year as it rebounds from the pandemic, as March registered the highest monthly gross take in history at $5.3 billion.

    Association CEO Bill Miller said in a statement that first-quarter numbers built on the industry’s record 2021 revenue of $53 billion, “despite continued headwinds from supply chain constraints, labor shortages and the impact of soaring inflation.”

    When casinos do well, that usually boosts customer traffic at nearby hotels, stores, restaurants, service businesses and entertainment properties where gamblers also spend. That’s especially the case in places like Las Vegas, which topped all regions with more than $7 billion in 2021 casino revenue.

    The trade group said quarterly gaming revenue records were set in three states during the first quarter, as New York hit $996.6 million, Florida brought in $182 million and Arkansas reached $147.4 million.

    Plans for Business Park in Space

    The billionaire-fueled boost in space tourism may now be set to extend into space lodging, with hotel rooms built within orbiting business parks.

    In a company blog post and interview this week with CNBC, leaders of Fontana, California-based space technology provider Orbital Assembly Corp. touted plans for “the first commercially viable, space-based business park with gravity.” It is also billed as what could be the first free-flying, habitable and privately operated facility in orbit.

    “We’ve been able to develop a safe, secure and reliable modular station that will generate revenue and profitability from both the tourist and commercial sectors sooner than our competitors who are also adhering to NASA timetables,” Orbital Assembly CEO Rhonda Stevenson said in a statement.

    Orbital Assembly envisions “multiple revenue streams from commercial, research and tourism markets” that will let the company subsidize the travel market for those seeking a one- or two-week stay. “While launch costs continue to be a barrier, we expect tourists will be motivated to plan shorter, or more frequent, stays as space travel becomes less expensive,” Stevenson said.

    The company’s basic station model could house 28 guests, with customized spaces up to 14,000 cubic feet for business equipment. Orbital Assembly plans to have it running in 2025.

    Source: www.CoStar.com