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Real Estate Briefing - Archive | April, 2011

Commercial-property market is dealing

Posted on 29 April 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Commercial real-estate brokerages and related companies are attracting merger and acquisition partners as the commercial-property market rebounds.
Financial-product broker BGC Partners Inc. announced Thursday it is buying Newmark Knight Frank, a real-estate broker and advisor. A day earlier, real-estate data provider CoStar Inc. said it will pay $860 million to acquire LoopNet Inc., a provider of online-listing services for commercial properties……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Pending sales of existing homes in U.S. increase 5.1pct, more than estimated

Posted on 29 April 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Jennifer LeeThe number of Americans signing contracts to buy previously owned homes rose more than forecast in March, a sign the industry that triggered the recession may begin to stabilize.
The index of pending home resales climbed 5.1 percent after a revised 0.7 percent increase the prior month, the National Association of Realtors said today in Washington. The median forecast in a Bloomberg News survey called for a 1.5 percent rise……………………………………….Full Article: Source

The case for selling in a falling housing market

Posted on 29 April 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

The problem with the American housing market isn’t that too few of us want to move. We estimate that at least 4 million homeowners would love to sell their home and buy another one that’s bigger, smaller, better located or more affordable.
What’s holding back these “sidelined sellers?” Some can’t sell because they owe more than their homes are worth, of course. But many more are simply paralyzed by the fear of selling and buying again in a falling market……………………………………….Full Article: Source

US housing still in trouble

Posted on 29 April 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

The US economy is making a gradual recovery, says Alan Abelson in Barron’s. But there’s still “one huge… hole” in it: the housing market. The widely-watched Case-Shiller index tracking prices in 20 major cities bounced in 2009 after plummeting from the 2006 peak.
But the rebound, triggered by a government tax break, fizzled after the programme ended, and the index has trended down over the past few months……………………………………….Full Article: Source

America’s most polluted cities

Posted on 29 April 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

California metros have the country’s worst air, followed by Phoenix and Pittsburgh. California metros “really have made great strides to try to clean up, but they have a lot of sources–a lot of people driving, a lot of ships coming into the port, especially ocean-going vessels,” explains Janice Nolen, lead author of the report and an assistant vice president of national policy and advocacy at the ALA.
“Plus, California has the warm, sunny climate that encourages pollutants to form and the geography that helps trap them.”………………………………………Full Article: Source

Housing prices up in Washington region

Posted on 29 April 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

The Washington area’s real estate market is continuing to recover, according to several reports this week, which showed that housing prices were up in the region even as they declined across much of the rest of the country.
The region’s thriving job market, particularly its relative abundance of high-paying positions and its reliable supply of federal work, played a large role in boosting the area’s numbers, analysts said……………………………………….Full Article: Source

U.S. REITs offer attractive returns as real estate market normalizes

Posted on 29 April 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Building and maintaining a long term, good performance portfolio demands diversification and some attention to market conditions. Real Estate is a key asset class that can be misunderstood but plays a part in a diversified portfolio. This article looks at US REITs.
Among dividend paying equity ETFs, U.S. REITs (IYR) outperformed all other major asset classes for the week ended 4/20/2011. Strength in U.S. REIT growth has lasted for several months now……………………………………….Full Article: Source

European retail real estate investment Q1 2011 tops EUR8 bln

Posted on 29 April 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Direct investment in retail real estate in Europe during the first three months of 2011 reached €8.04 billion, 48% up on the same period in 2010 (€5.4 billion). Investment volumes during the first quarter of the year even surpassed Q4 2010 volumes by 21% as some key transactions were finalized, such as Capital Shopping Centres’ purchase of the Trafford Centre in Manchester, UK, for over €1.8 billion.
In total, there were 12 transactions during the quarter that traded for more than €100 million across Europe……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Europe: Income growth driving non-listed real estate performance

Posted on 29 April 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

European non-listed real estate funds posted positive performance last year for the first time since 2007. The INREV annual index registered a NAV-based return across non-listed funds of 7.4% in local currency, up from a 7.7% loss in 2009.
UK funds led the upturn, delivering 14.9% compared with a 3.8% return (-8.2% in 2009) across continental European funds. French non-listed vehicles returned 11.2%……………………………………….Full Article: Source

International buyers set to boost UK property market

Posted on 29 April 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

A growth in the number of international buyers active in the UK property market is expected to bolster the region’s real estate market, it has been suggested.
Despite being hit hard by the recent financial crisis, the sector is expected to recover strongly, with demand for property in prime locations helping to speed up the overall recovery process……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Increase in investment in central London commercial property

Posted on 29 April 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Investment in central London commercial property in Q1 2011 increased by around 34% year-on-year, in an encouraging sign for the capital, according to figures from global property consultant Cushman & Wakefield.
Total transactions across the capital for the first quarter totaled around £2.19 billion (approx. €2.4 billion) compared to £1.63 billion in Q1 2010……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Irish returns avoid negative territory, just, in Q1 2011

Posted on 29 April 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Irish commercial property total return has avoided negative territory for the first time since Q1 2010, posting 0.0% in the first quarter of 2011, according to the SCSI/IPD Ireland Quarterly Property Index.
The neutral return can be traced to a slowdown in capital depreciation. While capital movement in Q1 remained negative, at -2.3%, this was an improvement on the -3.3% posted in the last quarter of 2010……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Ireland’s housing market: The search for rock-bottom

Posted on 29 April 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Talk of a new floor in pricing of properties in Ireland is off the mark. A little perspective is needed, writes Linton Chiswick.
Earlier this month, Dublin saw its first ‘fire sale’ property auction of repossessed homes……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Swedish investment growth continues

Posted on 29 April 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

A positive economic outlook and a continued market growth make Sweden’s investment market attractive for investors at home and abroad in 2011 according to international real estate advisor Savills.
The firm reports that by the end of Q1 2011 total turnover reached SEK 19.5 bln. (€2.18 bln.), up from SEK 18.5 bln. (€2.07 bln.) in Q1 2010……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Housing prices in Bulgaria’s major cities fall in Q1 2011

Posted on 29 April 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Prices of residential property in Bulgaria’s largest cities, including Sofia, Plovdiv and Varna, continued to decline in the first three months of 2011, according to an analysis by Raiffeisen Real Estate.
Housing prices in the capital city went down by 9.4 per cent year-on-year and by 5.2 per cent compared to the previous three months. In Plovdiv, Bulgaria’s second biggest city, prices of residential properties sold in the January-March period fell eight per cent on the year and by 6.7 per cent on the quarter……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Sofia’s residential property prices down by 9.4pct Q1 2011 y/y

Posted on 29 April 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

The average residential property prices in the Bulgarian capital Sofia have dropped by 9.4% in the first quarter of 2010 year on year, the Raiffeisen Real Estate index has shown. In comparison with the last quarter of 2010, the prices have decreased by 5.2%
According to a recent research conducted by Sofia based real estate agency Bulgarian Properties, the price levels of residential property in Sofia stood on average at about ERU 830 per square meter in the first quarter of 2011, down from EUR 930 in the last three months of the previous year……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Poland: Commercial real estate market recovering

Posted on 29 April 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Poland has become one of the most attractive destinations in Europe for those investing in commercial and residential real estate. Global property investment markets are expected to continue recovering this year, according to Cushman & Wakefield’s International Investment Atlas 2011.
A rising level of investment activity “will include a broader focus on emerging and second tier markets, not just the core gateway cities which were the winners in 2010,” the report says. ………………………………………Full Article: Source

S.Africa: Affordability drives house prices

Posted on 29 April 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

The affordability and “back to basics” drive is still visible in house price trends in SA, while traditional measures of affordability continue to improve, financial services group First National Bank (FNB) said on Thursday.
FNB noted that during the first quarter of 2011, year-on-year house price growth declined further to 0.82%, according to its House Price Index, from the previous quarter’s 3.1%. ………………………………………Full Article: Source

World’s tallest residential tower set to welcome occupants soon

Posted on 29 April 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Dubai’s property market has had its share of tall claims from developers, with many of them never making it beyond the drawing board. But this developer has certainly delivered on its promise.
At 348 metres and 86 floors, The Torch in Dubai Marina has won formal recognition as the world’s tallest residential tower, surpassing the earlier claimant, the Q1 Tower in Australia’s Gold Coast (323 metres)……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Asian real estate investments overshadowing others – Are you ready for It?

Posted on 29 April 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

A latest study conducted by the Asian Real Estate Association (AREA) shows that investors are keeping on hold short-term allocation of money in non-listed properties investment funds in Asia but are committing more money for longer terms.
Another survey Investment Intentions Asia reveals that nearly 50% of the investors plan to enhance allocations to non-listed properties investment funds in Asia for medium-term periods of 3 to 5 years, compared to about 24% who intend to invest for short-term periods of 1 to 2 years. ………………………………………Full Article: Source

India: Business transparency dominates CREDAI meet

Posted on 29 April 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Laser-like focus on “business transparency” dominated a conference of India’s real estate leaders here on Thursday. Union Urban Development Minister Kamal Nath commended them for addressing the “image deficit” in this critical sector.
Thematic documents on “Mission transparency,” prepared by the Confederation of Real Estate Developers’ Associations of India (CREDAI), were presented to the Minister at its 11th national convention. Receiving the “transparency” papers, Mr. Nath said they fully reflected the conference theme of “igniting change in Indian realty”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

India: Realtors find help on pruning clearances

Posted on 29 April 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Union minister for urban development Kamal Nath on Thursday said the number of approvals a developer has to get will have to be cut down for faster and more efficient property development in the country.
Speaking at the inaugural session of Credai’s (Confederation of Real Estate Developers’ Association of India) 11th Natcon (National Convention) summit here, he welcomed the apex body’s new initiative, ‘Mission Transparency’, which among other things calls for a single window clearance for real estate projects……………………………………….Full Article: Source

World Bank warns of China property market risk

Posted on 29 April 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

China’s property market is a “particular source of risk” with the potential for ripple effects throughout the economy should an abrupt downturn materialize, the Washington-based World Bank said in a quarterly country report Thursday.
“Shocks to the property sector that would slow down construction significantly could have a large impact on the economy and on bank balance sheets,” the World Bank said in its China Quarterly Update………………………………………Full Article: Source

Chinese property and investment: More on the Chinese bubble issue

Posted on 29 April 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

While the developed world is worrying about sovereign debt and a sluggish rate of growth*, China is struggling to cope with the task of controlling rapid expansion. As mentioned yesterday, some people think China merits the bubble label.
Commerzbank tackles the issue of the property market in a note out today. In Beijing, the price-to-income ratio of the average home is 36; that compares with 18 in Singapore, 12 in New York and just 5 in Frankfurt. By itself, this isn’t a reason to be immediately bearish……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Is Chinese housing headed for a bust?

Posted on 29 April 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

When it comes to cooling the housing market, Chinese officials have tried every trick in the book. Higher interest rates? Check. Bigger down payments? Check. Condescending lectures? Check.
Yet, prices continue to go up. It’s not that the government wants to keep citizens out of the market—local administrations are painfully reliant on development fees and property taxes to keep their books in order. And new construction buoys the economy in a very real, if fleeting, way……………………………………….Full Article: Source

China property: To burst, or not to burst?

Posted on 29 April 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Among the captivating figures released in China’s 2010 census is a nifty little stat: Chinese urbanites went up from 36 per cent of the population in 2000, to a hair’s-breadth short of 50 per cent in 2010. It’s pretty safe to assume, then, that by the end 0f 2011 there will be more Chinese living in cities than in the countryside.
Neat timing, therefore, for a fresh report on whether China is experiencing a property bubble in its major cities……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Australian capital city home values slide in 1Q -survey

Posted on 29 April 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Australian capital city house prices fell a seasonally-adjusted 2.1% in the first quarter of 2011 on the fourth quarter of 2010, with Brisbane, Perth and Darwin suffering the biggest declines, according to a report by property analyst RP Data-Rismark.
In March, capital city prices were relatively flat compared to February, falling just 0.2%, it said. From a year earlier, house prices were down 0.6%……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Blackstone is said to agree on $764 mln price for Valad Property Group

Posted on 29 April 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Blackstone Group LP (BX) agreed to buy Valad Property Group (VPG) for about A$700 million ($764 million) including assumed debt, said two people with knowledge of the deal, its first major acquisition of real estate in Australia.
The people, who asked not to be identified, declined to say how much Blackstone will pay on a per-share basis because the buyout of the Sydney-based company hasn’t been announced……………………………………….Full Article: Source

US commercial real estate markets steady, slightly better in 4Q

Posted on 28 April 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

U.S. commercial real estate markets continued to exhibit stability or mild improvement in the fourth quarter, Moody’s Investors Service said Wednesday. The overall composite score rose a point to 65 compared with the prior quarter, based on a range of 1 at the weakest end and 100 at the strongest. That puts it within two points of the highest scoring bloc, which Moody’s calls “green.”
Across all sectors, measures of market strength either improved slightly or stayed the same, the agency reported. The multifamily composite sector remains the only one with a green score, which held steady at 88. Retail also held steady at 64 during the fourth quarter……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Home-vacancy rate drops in first quarter as U.S. foreclosures are stalled

Posted on 28 April 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

The U.S. home-vacancy rate, a measure of the share of properties empty and for sale, fell to 2.6 percent in the first quarter as foreclosures slowed amid a lender backlog in processing paperwork.
The rate, down from 2.7 percent in the fourth quarter, is based on 2 million vacant properties for sale out of 74.5 million residences, the Census Bureau said today. A gauge measuring the share of people who own their homes dropped to 66.4 percent, the lowest since 1998, according to the report……………………………………….Full Article: Source

US home scams on the rise: experts warn of deals too good to be true

Posted on 28 April 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

The number of property spruikers promising to enrich Australians by cashing in on the distressed US housing market has soared in the past six months, with one site offering a US home for the price of a new car in Australia.
One website says investors can make “cashflow-positive returns of up to 28 per cent net” through the purchase of US homes……………………………………….Full Article: Source

U.S. housing market crisis crazy statistics

Posted on 28 April 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

End of the American Dream writes: Has the U.S. housing market reached a “bottom” yet? Are home prices going to start recovering? Is the housing crisis going to end at some point? Today there are millions of American families that would like to buy homes but they are not sure what to do.
After all, nobody wants to end up like all the suckers that bought at the top of the market and now owe far more on their mortgages then their homes are worth. A lot of people are really afraid to take out home loans right now. So should you buy a home in 2011? That is a very good question……………………………………….Full Article: Source

US commercial property update: A tale of two markets

Posted on 28 April 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

With property values rebounding, greater availability of debt financing and a slew of significant recently completed merger-and-acquisition and individual property transactions, commercial real estate investors might be tempted to believe that a robust market recovery is underway.
However, a closer look reveals a highly bifurcated market with enough potential future roadblocks to cause investors concern………………………………………Full Article: Source

Research highlights better times ahead for the majority of European office markets

Posted on 28 April 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

King Sturge’s new European Office Property Markets research highlights better times ahead for the majority of European office markets. The survey provides an assessment of relevant macro-economic, occupier and investment trends and includes commentary and analysis of Europe’s most important office markets.
“Economic growth in 2010 provided the necessary platform for a general improvement in Europe’s office markets……………………………………….Full Article: Source

UK: Housing market cheer with rising prices and loans

Posted on 28 April 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Homeowners had a double dose of good news as figures showed rising house prices and more mortgage lending. Asking prices increased by an average of £50 a day during March – an overall rise of £1,500 on February’s figure and the third monthly increase in a row.
At the same time the number of mortgage approvals for purchases rose to an eight-month high with a strong start to the traditional spring bounce……………………………………….Full Article: Source

UK drives resurgence in annual performance for European non-listed real estate funds

Posted on 28 April 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

UK non-listed real estate funds delivered a performance of 14.9% in 2010 contributing significantly to the general upsurge in fortunes for the sector, according to the INREV Annual Index 2010 published yesterday (April 27, 2011).
For the first time since 2007, the European non-listed real estate funds sector delivered positive annual performance. The net asset value-based return reached 7.4% in local currency - up from -7.7% in 2009……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Central London investment soars 34pct in Q1 2011

Posted on 28 April 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Investment in central London commercial property surged 34% year-on-year to around £2.19 bn (EUR 2.5 bn) in the first quarter of 2011, according to figures from global property consultant Cushman & Wakefield (C&W). The figure compares to £1.63 bn in Q1 2010.
However, this result represented a decrease of 24% from the previous quarter (£2.92 bn), as a shortage of stock hampered performance……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Brits snap up property in Spain and Portugal as prices continue to fall

Posted on 28 April 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

More and more Brits are taking advantage of falling property prices in Portugal and Spain to snap up bargain holiday homes. Online searches and inquiries about property in the Iberian countries rose in March with a survey from Rightmove Overseas and foreign exchange company Moneycorp finding that the Spanish province of Valencia saw the biggest surge in home searches.
The research found that searches for Property In Valencia rose by more than 166 per cent, whilst inquiries about property in Costa del Azahar rose by 39.91 per cent……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Proposed higher VAT is expected to hurt fragile Czech housing markets

Posted on 28 April 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

After experiencing price falls in 2008 and 2009, residential property markets in the Czech Republic stagnated for most of 2010 and in early-2011. With the government in dire need of funds, it is mulling unification of the value-added tax (VAT) rate to the higher tier.
The average price of Czech apartments was CZK1,719, 229 (€70,603) in February 2011, according to realitymorava.ck, the biggest and leading residential property portal in the country……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Czech: No need to regulate the real estate market?

Posted on 28 April 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Real estate market regulation need not pit small agencies against large ones; both live in glass houses, with ethical codes unenforced. According to rough calculations, to date some 60,000 trade licenses have been issued to agents in the Czech Republic, and some 3,500 to 4,000 agencies are operating on the market.
In Prague alone there are close to 1,200 — which means there is an agent for every thousand men, women and children……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Qatar spend on construction to hit $53bln by ’15

Posted on 28 April 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Qatar’s construction sector is expected to grow at an average 12% until 2015 and the total spend in the sector is expected to reach $53bn, according to Ventures Middle East.
In view of this tremendous growth, Qatar’s demand for fabricated aluminum products is slated to grow by an average 12% during the next four years to reach $436mn by 2015……………………………………….Full Article: Source

The Indian construction industry

Posted on 28 April 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

The Indian construction industry is an integral part of the economy and is poised for solid growth due to industrialisation, urbanisation and economic development, coupled with people’s rising expectations of improved living standards. The construction sector accounts for some 6-8% of GDP and, after agriculture, is the largest employment sector in the country, employing approximately 31 million people.
The construction industry in general has been growing at 9-11% year on year, built mainly on the strength of increased domestic and international manufacturing activities and industrial growth. There have also been increased levels of investment - especially by the government - in infrastructure and real estate projects……………………………………….Full Article: Source

India: Realty stocks will rebound in two years: Macquarie

Posted on 28 April 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

India’s real estate stocks have attractive valuations after plunging 83% from their peak and are likely to rebound within two years, according to Macquarie Group.
India’s real estate industry is grappling with rising borrowing costs, shrinking access to credit and a decline in demand as record prices make homes unaffordable. The Bombay Stock Exchange’s 14-stock Realty Index has dropped from its peak in January 2008, while the benchmark Sensitive Index surged to a record last November………………………………………Full Article: Source

Mumbai’s home sales drop to two-year low as unsold units climb to a record

Posted on 28 April 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Mumbai home sales dropped to a two- year low in the first quarter as record prices and interest rates at the highest since 2008 crimped demand, increasing the number of unsold units to a record, according to Liases Foras Real Estate Rating & Research Pvt.
Sales in Mumbai, India’s most expensive property market, fell to 9.09 million square feet in the three months ended March, 14 percent lower than the December quarter and the lowest since the first quarter of 2009, Mumbai-based Pankaj Kapoor, founder of Liases Foras said……………………………………….Full Article: Source

China developers face windfall tax

Posted on 28 April 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Beijing is mulling the imposition of a windfall tax on property developers, Xinhua News Agency reported, quoting a top official at the National Development and Reform Commission.
“We’re investigating costs, prices and profits in the mainland’s property sector. Considering the conditions in this sector, we will list it as one [sector] in which companies are not allowed to make windfall profits,” Xinhua quoted Xu Kunlin, who oversees price monitoring at the commission, as saying……………………………………….Full Article: Source

China real estate ETF and the housing bubble

Posted on 28 April 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

An uptick in the number of housing transactions across Chinese cities bodes well for the China real estate exchange traded fund (ETF). However, the optimistic news on the burgeoning Chinese housing market may force the government to clamp down even tighter on speculation.
Transaction volumes in several Chinese cities jumped last week, which support prices and signals steady demand………………………………………Full Article: Source

Is Hong Kong pricing itself out of the market?

Posted on 28 April 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Cushman & Wakefield, the world’s largest privately owned real estate service firm has released a research report that questions if Hong Kong is pricing itself out of the market. The report states that Hong Kong’s Central Business District has been ranked as the world’s most expensive office market in 2010, due to strong demand and limited new supply.
The average rent of the Prime Office Buildings in Central has climbed over % from 2009 to $20.04 (HK$155.90) per square foot per month. In 2011, sustained economic growth and a shortage of new supply fuelling more competition for office space and a steep uptrend in rental costs……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Foreign ownership law helping Cambodia’s property recovery

Posted on 28 April 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Cambodia’s property market is still somewhat depressed. However, the new foreign ownership law is undoubtedly helping the property market recover.
The number of property transactions increased threefold in 2010 thanks to the new law, according to Sung Bonna, President of National Valuers Association of Cambodia (NVAC)……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Thai developer reveals plans for India and wider Asian projects

Posted on 28 April 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

The Indian arm of a leading Bangkok based developer is looking to invest some $300 million in the country’s real estate market, particularly in the major cities of Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore.
In a major boost to the Asian property market Thailand’s Pruksa Real Estate, has revealed ambitious plans for India over the next five years. The company is one of the top players in the region, according to the Financial Chronicle……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Japan’s housing starts may post first drop in 10 months after earthquake

Posted on 28 April 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Japan’s housing starts may post the first decline in 10 months as the nation’s strongest earthquake on March 11 sapped demand, halting the strongest recovery in the real estate market in almost 15 years.
Construction companies broke ground on 1.1 percent fewer homes in March from a year earlier, according to the median estimate of 23 economists in a Bloomberg News survey……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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