DALLAS—While initial unemployment claims are continuing to fall, consumer confidence dropped to a six-year low in August, according to CBRE's market update on the industrial and logistics sector. However, there are some strengths worth noting, including the industrial and logistics sector's resiliency.

"The promising US economic recovery is becoming increasingly fragile, with strong retail sales and strong home sales on the plus side versus weakening consumer confidence and delayed federal stimulus efforts on the downside," says Spencer Levy, senior economic adviser and chairman of CBRE Americas Research. "CBRE continues to forecast the economic recovery continuing through this year's second half and gaining momentum in 2021. However, this outlook relies on a stimulus package being enacted and a vaccine being deployed by Q1 2021. While many sectors of commercial real estate are still taking stock, the industrial and logistics sector has hardly broken step. E-commerce growth has accelerated in the past six months to account for 20% of total US retail sales, up from 16%. That foreshadows a need for hundreds of millions of square feet–if not billions–of warehouse and distribution space in the coming years."

CBRE's outlook for the economy and the US industrial and logistics market in major cities shows the sector posting its 41st straight quarter of positive net absorption/demand in the second quarter of 2020. US vacancy hovers near its all-time low at 4.7%. Developers have roughly 314 million square feet under construction with 37% pre-leased. CBRE forecasts that the combination of accelerated e-commerce growth and retailers' push to keep larger inventories on hand will foster US demand for more than 2 billion square feet of new warehouse and distribution space during the next decade.

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Lisa Brown

Lisa Brown is an editor for the south and west regions of GlobeSt.com. She has 25-plus years of real estate experience, with a regional PR role at Grubb & Ellis and a national communications position at MMI. Brown also spent 10 years as executive director at NAIOP San Francisco Bay Area chapter, where she led the organization to achieving its first national award honors and recognition on Capitol Hill. She has written extensively on commercial real estate topics and edited numerous pieces on the subject.