Reis Inc.’s latest quarterly stats have documented a slow and steady rise in retail vacancy. Its blended number, which looks at neighborhood and community centers and regional malls in a single statistic, shows that retail vacancy has now risen 2 percentage points from its low of 6.3 percent in the second quarter of 2005 to 8.3 percent during the fourth quarter of 2008. During the quarter, at neighborhood and community shopping centers, the vacancy rate increased 50 basis points, from 8.4 percent to 8.9 percent, the largest single quarter increase in vacancy since Reis began publishing quarterly performance data in 1999. At regional malls, the vacancy rate increased by 50 basis points, as well, to 7.1%. The national shopping center vacancy rate is now at its highest level since 1994; the regional mall vacancy rate, its highest level since Reis began tracking regional malls in 2000.