The 2002 Earlybird Economic Forecast is sponsored by theBusiness Journal. Bob Dean of Grubb & Ellis compiled fourbrokerages' data into a consensus. The real estate firms includedwere Grubb & Ellis, CB Richard Ellis, Colliers Internationaland Cornish & Carey/Oncor International.

The consensus predicts that the largest slowdown is expected inoffice construction, which may drop 79 %. Industrial constructionis expected to slip 57 %, and retail construction may fall 28 %,according to the report.The brokerages say that office absorption,which is the amount of newly leased space, will fall about 36%, andindustrial volume will drop 21%. Retail should rise about 1.6%.

The Earlybird forecast says that a recovery should start by themiddle of next year. Builders have not complained about a lack ofwork, as the decline is starting from some of the highestconstruction levels ever seen in Sacramento.

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