As 2013 progresses, the U.S. economy and commercial real estate markets continue to settle into a “new normal,” which is reflected in GDP growth, employment trends, and effects of uncertain fiscal policy changes, according to George Ratiu, manager of quantitative and commercial research for the National Association of REALTORS®, who hosted the CCIM Institute’s Feb. 27 webinar, The 2013 Economy and Its Effect on Commercial Real Estate. However, as 1Q13 nears completion, Ratiu’s projections for continued recovery and momentum are favorable. “I feel more optimistic about the economy’s direction than I did even just a few months ago,” he said.
A mild rebound in the housing sector, moderate employment gains, increasing corporate profits and productivity, and rising equity and debt markets continue to support moderate economic growth, Ratiu said. However, consumer confidence concerns and cautious spending, coupled with still-high unemployment figures and volatile energy costs, continue to weigh heavily on the overall economy’s progress, according to data compiled from NAR, Reis, Real Capital Analytics, the U.S. Federal Reserve, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, among other sources.
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