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Editor's Note: Speed of Change Will Accelerate in 2022

Companies have met the challenges over the last two difficult years but will now need to adjust their plans and priorities over the course of 2022 in order to succeed.

Q1 2022
Despite the ongoing global pandemic, the U.S. economy grew 5.7 percent in 2021 — the fastest annual rate since 1984 — bolstered by consumer spending. Supply chain bottlenecks brought about by this demand — coupled by the slowdown in production during the pandemic — continue to challenge the country.

However, when we asked corporate readers if they had a changed their real estate strategies over the past 12 months due to the pandemic, 70 percent said they had not, with only 17 percent saying they had geographically diversified their operations. And it seems these respondents are staying the course and proceeding with caution according to the results of our 36th Annual Corporate Survey, with three quarters of the corporate respondents saying they have not changed their number of facilities over the past year.

Rising labor costs and the tight labor market are the top concerns among our corporate readers. And while consultants to industry who responded to our 18th Annual Consultants Survey also say their clients, many of whom employ thousands of workers, are concerned about skilled labor availability, they believe proximity to markets and to suppliers are top of mind for their clients in light of the supply chain challenges they are facing.

Meanwhile, in just the last few months, several large corporations have announced projects representing billions of dollars in investment and thousands of jobs — especially in the electric vehicle (EV) and battery sector. This technology will disrupt suppliers of ICE vehicles, the communities in which they’re located, as well as their employees. However, a Bloomberg New Energy Finance study reveals, “By 2025 electric vehicles (EVs) will reach 10 percent of global passenger vehicle sales, growing to 28 percent in 2030 and 58 percent by 2040.” In fact, an Executive Order signed by President Biden in December 2021 calls for all new vehicles to be 100 percent zero-emission by 2035, including 100 percent zero-emission for light-duty vehicles by 2027.

Companies large and small have met the challenges over the last two difficult years. As the speed of change continues to accelerate, they will need to adjust their plans and priorities over the course of 2022 in order to grow and succeed.

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