By  on April 14, 2010

The pain of the recession is lingering at U.S. shopping centers, and the sting is worst in the once-booming Western states of California, Arizona and Nevada.

Even as the national economy gains traction and there are signs that some consumers are more willing to spend, retail vacancy rates keep rising partly because unemployment remains high at 9.7 percent, and also because stores are having financing difficulties. The challenges are most serious in Western states that were fast-growing before the downturn and fell just as quickly.

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