Yellen signals higher official rates
At long last, the Federal Reserve has set forth a path to higher rates. Fed Chair Janet Yellen told Congress that believes economic conditions "warrant further gradual increases in the federal funds rate," the interest rate charged on loans to the largest banks. Wall...  more
<em>Asia Pacific Watch:</em> February 2017
Inflation is an elusive target, and not found everywhere. For instance, while price inflation is measurable—though relatively low —in the U.S., it dropped in China and India, according to CBRE Global Investors' Shane Taylor and Juliet Cha. Persistently low inflation...  more
<em>Global Economic Outlook:</em> February 2017
Keep the champagne on ice for now, but it looks like the global economy is on an upswing. Despite a chorus of bears and a high level of uncertainty, AllianceBernstein Global Economic Research believes there could be more good than bad news in 2017. “When we consider...  more
<em>Europe Watch:</em> February 2017
Key to the future of real estate investment in Europe is the impact of the United Kingdom's exit from the E.U., or Brexit, for short. Yet as wrenching as Brexit is expected to be, the effects don't seem to obvious yet, aside from currency traders selling pounds. As...  more
The only certainty is uncertainty
Ninety days from the election and just a few weeks from the inauguration, investors are getting a better picture of the new administration and what it might do. The enthusiasm that fuelled a stock market rally is cooling off as Wall Street realizes that...  more
<em>Americas Watch:</em> February 2017
A marathon session with Fractured Fairy Tales must have inspired Shubrha Jha and her fellow analysts at CBRE Global Investors last month. Looking at the sectors of the U.S. real estate market, they ask which is the fairest of all, as Snow White’s wicked stepmother...  more
National defense: Is another spending boom on the horizon?
The president’s campaign promise to substantially increase spending on defense has AllianceBernstein U.S. Economist Joseph Carson crunching the numbers and cracking the history books. Big dollars are involved, since “It would include modernizing U.S. nuclear weapons...  more
<em>Asia Pacific Watch:</em> January 2017
Australia attracts media attention every January with the playing of the tennis Open but real estate investors should be thinking about it year round. Although the island country is off the beaten track, there is much to recommend it. “Australia has been one of the...  more
What could change the benign nature of the business cycle?
The business cycle is a lot like the weather. It follows the same general path every year, but each season is different. And even with improvements in computer modeling, forecasting the weather is often not accurate. And the same is true of the business cycle...  more
<em>Europe Watch:</em> January 2017
Looking back on 2016, while the year was full of shocks and surprises, it turned out to be generally good for the bottom line. European commercial real estate, for example, did rather well. David Inskip and Simon Kristiansen of CBRE Global Investors call it a...  more
<em>Americas Watch:</em> January 2017
Many Americans were happy to see a new year begin, even though they did not feel a great change at 12:01 a.m. January 1. At least economic conditions are favorable, for which we can be thankful, and “Sentiment regarding the momentum of the economic expansion remains...  more
<em>Asia Pacific Watch:</em> December 2016
Outside Asia’s developed markets of Japan, China, and South Korea, real estate investors can find opportunities as well as some risky situations. On the plus side, Southeast Asia’s economies are expected to grow; a limiting factor is that they contain only 2 percent...  more
<em>Europe Watch:</em> December 2016
In a sea of turmoil (i.e., Europe), the Netherlands looks relatively calm. While not without its societal stresses—such as popular anti-immigrant politician and Trump fan Geert Wilders—the Dutch real estate market continues to appeal to investors. “The story of...  more
<em>Americas Watch:</em> December 2016
While Wall Street celebrates the coming Republican ascendance, some observers are waiting to see if change in Washington will accelerate economic growth. Count Shubhra Jha and her fellow analysts among the sceptics. “There’s a widespread sense that a unified...  more
<em>Global Economic Outlook:</em> December 2016
U.S. equity markets seem to have left fear far behind in favor of a targeted rally, piling into sectors that could benefit under a Republican administration. Cooler heads, though, including AllianceBernstein Global Economic Research, are not convinced. “Donald Trump...  more
Fiscal policy change: Lessons from the Reagan era
The 2016 election ensured Republican control of Congress and the presidency, promising radical changes in every aspect of government. The tax code is at the top of the list, prompting  AllianceBernstein U.S. Economist Joseph Carson to recall the Economic...  more
<em>Asia Watch:</em> November 2016
Singapore’s economy has not been looking good this year. Growth is nearly flat, manufacturing output is barely positive, and real estate is below average. Yet investors have been busy. “Singapore has seen a rise in investment volumes and it hosted one of the world’s...  more
<em>Europe Watch:</em> November 2016
The British pound has been hit hard since the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union, which has been both a boon and a blow to the economy. It has been a remarkable decline, as David Inskip and Simon Kristiansen point out in the November 2016 issue of...  more
America’s vote for (economic) change
A post-election prediction of economic initiatives is akin to gazing into a cloudy crystal ball, but the general outline of the future may still be made out. In the case of president-elect Trump it will be more difficult because of the vagueness of his proposals and...  more
Painting by the numbers — GDP rebounds in third quarter of 2016
The latest gross domestic product data generated a good news-bad news report from the Bureau of Economic Analysis. First, the good news: For 2016’s third quarter “the economy expanded at an annualized rate of 2.9  percent—slightly ahead of consensus estimates of...  more
<em>Americas Watch:</em> November 2016
Tumultuous fairly describes the last month of the U.S. election campaign. but so far commercial real estate is mostly unaffected. Even so, whether we have a clear winner or not, uncertainty about many aspects of the economy will remain. Shubhra Jha and her fellow...  more
<em>Americas Watch:</em> October 2016
It is an uneasy calm before the storm, with the presidential election and a decision by the Federal Reserve on interest rates getting closer. Shubhra Jha and her fellow analysts at CBRE Global Investors call them “yuuugely ancipated events that could unsettle global...  more
The economics of the upcoming presidential election
Campaign promises are seldom realized, however boldly a candidate promotes them. The proverb about wishes and horses reminds us that reality has a way of overruling dreams. More to the point, whoever becomes president will have to work with Congress. With the...  more
Fed’s changing goalposts and uncertain path
The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) postponed any increase in the discount rate at its September meeting, to the relief of financial markets and the dismay of AllianceBernstein U.S. Economist Joseph Carson. Carson has been urging the FOMC to return the...  more
<em>Asia Pacific Watch:</em> September 2016
The Japanese economy has barely grown for decades, but in quite a few cities real estate values have been positive for the last four years. Considerable monetary and fiscal stimulus is planned but absent growth it isn’t clear how much longer real estate returns can...  more