SAN FRANCISCO-An uptick in leasing activity at AMP Property Corp. in the first quarter suggests that fundamentals will begin recovering in the second half of this year—as the industrial REIT had previously forecast, officials of AMB said Wednesday in reporting the company’s financial results for the first quarter of this year. Said Hamid R. Moghadam, AMB’s chairman and CEO, “The global economic recovery is well under way, and the leading indicators of demand for industrial real estate are gaining momentum. We are seeing this play out in leasing activity as there was an encouraging uptick during the first quarter, supporting our forecast for a recovery of operating fundamentals in the back half of 2010.”

Moghadam delivered his comments in AMB’s quarterly earnings conference call with financial analysts. In his introductory remarks to the conference call, Moghadam said that 2010 “is shaping up to be a very good year for us.” Among the factors he cited in AMB’s positive outlook were improvements in global trade, increasing confidence among the company’s customers and better-than-expected financial results from transportation-based logistics providers.

Moghadam pointed out that, since bottoming in early 2009, global trade “has been improving at a healthy pace in both the ocean and the air sectors.” Container volumes through the major global ports are up about 24% from the trough, although still 7% to 10% below comparable periods in 2007 and 2008, he noted. International air cargo is up 28% year-to-date from its January 2009 trough, which Moghadam called “an unexpected and positive surprise” that is the result of “customers who continue to manage their lean inventory.” Air cargo volumes are now only about 5% to 10% below peak levels, he added.

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