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CHICAGO—US cities have traditionally been a driver of innovationand overall business momentum but according to a new index by JLL,they barely register a beep on a global scale now.

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JLL's City Momentum Index 2020 identifies the world's mostdynamic cities from a real estate perspective, covering 130 majorestablished and emerging business hubs. While evidence points tothe global economy moving into a synchronised slowdown, JLL says inits report, its latest research highlights several cities inthe  Top 20 that continue to exhibit remarkable dynamism,particularly in Asia.

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For instance, Indian cities feature strongly despite a slowingnational economy. Hyderabad emerges as the world's most dynamiccity, pushing last year's Index winner, Bengaluru, into secondplace.

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Another five Indian cities make the Top 20: Chennai (5th), Delhi(6th), Pune (12th), Kolkata (16th) and Mumbai (20th).

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China has five cities in the Top 20: Shenzhen (10th), Chongqing(11th), Wuhan (13th), Hangzhou (15th) and Shanghai (17th). However,JLL notes that this is the weakest showing from China since thelaunch of the Index in 2014.

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South East Asia is represented in the Top 20 by the Vietnamesecities of Ho Chi Minh City (3rd) and Hanoi (7th), while Manila(8th) sits in its highest ever position.

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Once again, Nairobi (4th) is Africa's sole representative, whileDubai (14th) reappears in the Top 20 for the first time since 2017.The Saudi Arabian capital, Riyadh (18th), makes its maidenappearance in the Top 20, as it starts to open up its economy.

The US Makes an Appearance

The US does make an appearance in the Top 20: Silicon Valleycomes in at 9th place and Austin at No. 19. They are the onlyrepresentatives from the advanced economies.

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While Silicon Valley's reputation as a preeminent innovation hubis very well established, recent years have seen mid-sized citiessuch as Austin, Denver, Charlotte and Nashville garner growingreputations as talent-rich tech hubs, JLL says.

Global Commercial Transactions

In a separate report, JLL reports that global commercialtransaction volumes reached an all-time high of $800 billion lastyear, increasing 4% year-over-year and making 2019 the most liquidyear on record. That said, it also noted that investors areincreasingly favoring high-growth, mid-sized cities as they focuson access to yield and longer-term resilience.

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"As the real estate cycle extends into its tenth year, investorsare increasingly favoring locations and sectors that are resilientto economic or geopolitical disruption," Richard Bloxam, Global CEOof Capital Markets at JLL, says in prepared remarks. "Cities thatoffer a diverse range of talent and innovation attract significantinvestment interest, with the industrial and 'living' sectorscontinuing to perform well in the current global climate."

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JLL reports that outperformance in the US and core markets inAsia are driving growth, led by New York, Japan, China, South Koreaand Singapore.

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Another high-growth city is Paris, which has jumped into a topglobal position, benefiting from significant foreign investment,low interest rates and strong fundamentals. On the other end of thespectrum, direct commercial investment volumes in London areexpected to rebound this year following a Brexit resolution, havingalmost halved in 2019.

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