Five of the eight major regional mall REITs have reported earnings in recent weeks and have shown that the industry is holding up in a slowing economy. Before the earnings were released, analysts had worried about rising vacancies, falling rents and high debt loads. "Overall, the regional mall sector is one of the more stable and defensive REIT sectors because of the long-term leases and high quality assets," said Jason Lail, senior research analyst with SNL Financial LC.

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