NEW YORK CITY-The retail sector’s availability rate is predicted to drop to 12.7% by the end of 2011, with CBRE Econometric Advisors forecasting that demand will turn positive for the first time since 2007, has exclusively learned. However, rents won’t start growing at historical levels, i.e. 3% or more, until 2013.

“I still feel that we’re in a tenuous recovery for the consumer,” economist Abigail Rosenbaum with CBRE-EA tells “Certainly it’s been a healthy one in 2010, one that we wanted to see and expected to see. But unemployment continues to be high. Job recovery has been going along, more recently at a slower pace. However, consumers feel that things are okay enough that they can go out shopping again.”

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