Job Growth, Consumer Spending Bode Well for CRE in 2020
The longest economic expansion since World War II in the national and Philadelphia commercial real estate markets shows indications of staying solid in 2020, extending the record bull run for U.S. commercial real estate despite some risks that could eventually move the country toward a recession, according to CoStar economists.
Trade wars and a slowdown in the U.S. manufacturing sector as well as around the globe last year roiled equity markets and rattled businesses in the U.S. commercial real estate market – including Philly retail space, CoStar economists say in the “2019 Year in Review of the U.S. Economy” video (available by clicking here). This robust job growth has, the CoStar experts said, extended the spending power of American consumers, the heart of the nation’s economic engine.
This CoStar Realty Information Inc. report involving U.S. and Philadelphia commercial properties is being made available through Philadelphia commercial real estate broker Wolf Commercial Real Estate, a Philadelphia commercial real estate brokerage firm.
“Our growing economy still bodes well for demand for commercial and multifamily real estate,” said Christine Cooper, managing director and senior economist from CoStar’s Los Angeles office. “Expanding payrolls will continue to fuel demand for office space, while rising incomes and consumption will boost demand in industrial and retail sectors. As job growth continues, consumers appear quite optimistic and unconcerned by the trade war and any economic slowdown abroad.”
Trade tensions caused markets dominated by U.S. and Philadelphia commercial real estate listings to swoon, resulting in distress and uncertainty for businesses dealing with disruptions to their supply chains and higher costs. That made firms cautious in their plans for expansion and private business investment, which has been slowing since mid-2018, said Galina Alexeenko, managing director and senior economist from CoStar’s Atlanta office.
“The business sector’s mood soured in 2019 as uncertainty reigned, costs rose, profit margins compressed and earnings growth slowed,” Alexeenko said. “Falling exports and the pullback in business investment have been a drag on economic growth.”
Migration of workers from the Northeast and Midwest – as well as throughout national and Philadelphia commercial real estate properties as well – continued to bolster surprising strength in labor markets, with job growth fueling real estate demand in the South and U.S. West, said Alexeenko. The Federal Reserve Bank faced rising trade uncertainties, slowing inflation and a global economic slowdown, the analysts said in the video.
“Going forward into this new decade, we expect economic growth to slow somewhat as the labor market cools, consumer spending loses some momentum and persistent global and trade policy headwinds weigh on business sentiment and investment,” Cooper said. – By Randy L. Drummer, CoStar Realty Information Inc.
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