The new ghost town: Your local mall


The era of the frugal consumer continues. Yet another tell-tale stat of the restructuring under way in the U.S. economy: consumer spending (or lack thereof) at the nation's malls.

The recession and the pull-back in consumer spending is turning malls into ghost towns, according to The Wall Street Journal.

In the 12 months ended March 31, U.S. malls collectively posted a 6.5 percent decline in tenants' same store sales, according to Green Street Advisors, a real estate research firm, The Journal reports. The data includes a 7.3 percent decrease in sales at Simon Property Group (SPG), the operator of the largest number of mall locations.