NORTH PLAINFIELD, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – Retailers in the Tri-State Area have reason to be feeling good about the future.

Following the mid-year survey of some 250 retailers in Levin Management’s regional shopping centers, optimism reigns.

WCBS 880’s Levon Putney reports 

“Across the board, a majority of retailers reported that both sales and traffic in their stores were the same or higher than last year,” Levin Management President Matthew Harding told WCBS 880’s Levon Putney. “So [there is] slow and steady progress in terms of sales and store traffic.”

Harding said that the survey — which spans the entire Tri-State Area — directly translates to more hiring.

“Nearly forty percent of the retailers in our survey expect to hire additional employees over the next six months,” Harding added. “It’s encouraging.”

That figure is up from close to 25 percent this time last year.

Still, Harding maintained that retailers remain concerned about the economy, and are continually paying attention to Europe’s financial mess.

Store owners, have you seen sales and traffic increase in your establishments this year? Sound off with your stories and comments below…