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Industrial Recovery Continues to Gain Momentum

The growth of manufacturing and inventories suggests that industrial recovery will continue to gain momentum, Cushman & Wakefield says.

"The industrial market is showing positive signs, both on paper and in market fundamentals," said Jim Dieter, executive vice president of Industrial Brokerage at Cushman & Wakefield. "While overall vacancy continued to climb during the first months of 2010 - resting at just under 11 percent at the end of the first quarter - 60 percent of the markets tracked by Cushman & Wakefield reported an increase in year-over-year leasing activity. Nationally, leasing activity increased 10 percent, to 60.5 million square feet, over the same period last year."

In early 2010 construction completions reached their lowest point since Cushman & Wakefield began tracking the data. But the expectation of continued steady leasing should pump up absorption figures.

There are further positive signs of growth for the industrial sector in retail, auto, and housing sales, but Dieter called for cautious optimism.

Several markets and trends to watch include activity across the Atlanta, Inland Empire, and Pennsylvania I-81 and I-78 industrial corridors; improved connections between the deep water port in Hampton Roads, Virginia and Columbus, Ohio; the widening of the Panama Canal; and coinciding widening of East Coast ports in Baltimore, Philadelphia, Charleston, Savannah, Jacksonville, and Norfolk.

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