May 1, 2012—U.S. Consumer Confidence vs. Warehouse Demand: C&W Industrial Fact of the Week

Source: Cushman & Wakefield Research, The Conference Board. Only markets tracked by Cushman & Wakefield offices are included in this analysis.

Consumer confidence vs warehouse demand

A sustained increase in consumer spending helped drive U.S. industrial users to absorb 13.6 million square feet of warehouse/distribution space in the first quarter of 2012, the market’s highest first‐quarter total since 2005.

  • The increase in spending is reflective of an environment in which consumers are proving more upbeat about their personal finances. The Conference Board’s measure of present conditions – a monthly index calculated on the basis of a household survey of consumers’ opinions on the current health of the economy  ‐ increased to 51.4 in April, its highest level since September 2008. The metric had fallen as low as 21.1 in October 2009.
  • While headwinds persist, the readings were critically accompanied by a 0.4% March increase in incomes, the most in three months as evidence of a sustainable rebound gathered.
  • With all of the warehouse/distribution occupancy surrendered during the recession reclaimed by year‐end 2011, the segment enters the remainder of 2012 ready to transition into the next phase of recovery.

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