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Tuesday, January 16 News

Business Briefs: Companies lease space, Region’s income growth slows in 2016...

Connecticut’s Gold Coast became the wealthiest pocket of the nation last year, according to new federal estimates on average personal income, despite generating the third-lowest income growth in the Northeast and ranking in the bottom 30 percent nationally.

The Greenwich-Bridgeport corridor had average income of $106,700 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, up 1.1 percent from 2015 and a slower rate of growth from the 1.5 percent gain the previous year.

Last month, a Westport commercial real estate firm announced multiple lease deals. Franco Fellah, executive vice president at HK Group, made the announcement Nov. 20.

Shoe Inn, a retailer that sells upscale women’s shoes and accessories, leased 1,200 square feet of retail space with a full lower level on New Canaan’s main drag at 36 Elm St. Shoe Inn already has eight locations in the New York and New Jersey area, including one in Westport.

Other leasees include Coastal Connecticut Counseling, a therapy support center for individuals, couples, children and families, in Fairfield; Bird, Bonette, Stauderman, Inc., advertising production consultants, in Westport, and JoyRide Cycling Studio in Darien.

Passenger trips on Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor increased 1 percent to 12 million total over the 12 months through September. The rail line has local stops in Bridgeport and Stamford.

Nationally, Amtrak ridership was up 1.5 percent to 31.7 million passenger trips, with revenue up 1.1 percent to $3.2 billion in its 2017 fiscal year. Amtrak reported a $194 million operating loss, a 15.7 percent improvement from fiscal 2016.

As of September, Amtrak carried debt of $1.2 billion, down 64 percent from a decade ago.

According to recent predictions by the National Retail Federation, holiday sales are expected to increase by as much as 4 percent to $682 billion between November and December this year, compared to the same time last year.

At the same time, according to the Wall Street Journal, retailers are reporting offering fewer markdowns than in years past. In total, Black Friday discounts marked a 6 percent decrease this year, per price-tracking firm Market Track.

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