Retail rents fell 9% in Manhattan in the 12 months through September, as the city suffered from its highest unemployment rate in 16 years, according to the Real Estate Board of New York.

Rents dropped to an average of $117 a square foot, the board said in an e-mailed press release today. The biggest decline was in the Herald Square-34th Street shopping district, where ground-floor asking rents fell 35% to $421 a square foot. REBNY is New York City’s real estate trade organisation.