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CBRE Group, Inc. is the world’s largest commercial real estate services and investment firm, with 2018 revenues of $21.3 billion and more than 90,000 employees (excluding affiliate offices). CBRE has been included in the Fortune 500 since 2008, ranking #146 in 2019. CBRE offers a broad range of integrated services, including facilities, transaction and project management; property management; investment management; appraisal and valuation; property leasing; strategic consulting; property sales; mortgage services and development services.


CBRE Global Investors, combined with CBRE Clarion Securities and CBRE Caledon, is one of the world’s leading real asset investment managers with $106 billion in assets under management.

Built up over more than 40 years, our unparalleled platform is focused on real assets, giving our institutional clients access to real estate and infrastructure in the Americas, Europe and Asia Pacific. Our clients benefit from a complete range of investment solutions including equity and debt, direct and indirect, and listed and unlisted strategies.

Trammell Crow Company, founded in Dallas, Texas in 1948, is one of the nation’s oldest and most prolific developers of, and investors in, commercial real estate.The CBRE Global Investors and Trammell Crow Company platforms make up the Real Estate Investments division of CBRE Group.

The Real Estate Investments division is led by
Mike Lafitte, Global CEO, Real Estate Investments.


Regularly released content on the state of the real estate and infrastructure industry are produced by our subject matter experts and shared on their blogs. A selection of them can be found below.

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The tumultuous headlines we expected for 2019 have not failed to disappoint and more can be expected as the 2020 presidential election will enter the final stretch. The U.S. economy has faced topsy-turvy monetary policy, a heated political climate, and ongoing trade wars all while it enters further into this record setting economic expansion. The hodgepodge of uncertainty has unexpectedly come with many bright spots. The stock market has hit record highs, the labor market is at its strongest point in 50 years with long-term low unemployment, wages continue to see gains, and consumer confidence by and large still upbeat. However, discounting the clear and present risks in the economy are done at one’s own peril. The manufacturing sector continues to show signs of stress, business confidence has been moving sideways for the majority of 2019 and overall trade volumes have declined from a year ago. In response to these risks and inflation remaining stubbornly below the Federal Reserve’s 2% target rate, it has turned interest rate expectations on its head and inverted the yield curve. It has executed three rate cuts since mid-summer hoping to push the economic expansion further. Near term the economic expansion is expected to push on, but leading economic indicators should be monitored closely.


Business confidence continues to move sideways as uncertainty continues to plague business leaders’ expectations for the future. In addition to the already back-and-forward and hopeful bit-piece headlines about an agreement with China on trade, the 2020 presidential election is a looming uncertainty. A Trump victory would mean more pro-business initiatives buoying business executives, while a Democratic win would mean a focus on social and fiscal legislation. Regardless of the outcome, it would add a dose of certainty for businesses on the expected economic climate for the next four years.




S&P 500



Fed Funds Rate


9 bps

10-yr. T-Note




*WTI Crude Oil Spot Price. Data points through end of November 2019. Change represents month-over-month change.

Rene Moreira

The ISM Manufacturing index continues in contraction territory for the third straight month. The trade war with China rages on and new trade disputes with other trading partners continue to put pressure on domestic manufacturers. Although headlines continue to arise about a possible trade deal, manufacturers can only hope a deal is struck soon. The ISM non-manufacturing index on the other hand continues in positive territory with the services sector seemingly unfazed. Although the index level has decelerated from 2018 highs, it is in line with current cycle averages. Although the Non-Manufacturing index suggest that the prolonged economic expansion has some room to run, the lagging Manufacturing index is signaling caution.

Source: CBRE EA

The healthy U.S. economy is failing to show up in the trade numbers. The value of exports and imports are down on a quarter-over-quarter and year-over-year basis for the first time since early 2016. The U.S.-China trade war continues to be a drag and while imports were a bright spot, they too declined by 1.0% from the same quarter in 2018. While a rising dollar does not help exports, it should boost imports as consumer confidence remains near current cycle highs and the labor market strong. However, the uncertainty of a trade resolution between China and the U.S. will ultimately lead to higher prices for consumers as the trade war runs on.

Source: U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis

Private fixed investment in equipment and other capital projects continues to decelerate in 3Q19. The figures for the quarter are the slowest pace of investment seen since late 2016 and early 2017 period. The increase in economic uncertainty globally and the unpredictability of the 2020 U.S. presidential election means more business investment will likely be put on hold. This could have adverse effects on the strong labor market. Looking forward, the labor market should be monitored closely for any spillover effect from continued deceleration in business investment growth.

Source: U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis

Investment grade corporate bond spreads have bounced between a narrow band over the last few months. The combination of lower interest rates and investor appetite means the corporate-bond-to-10-year treasury spread is largely in line with its long-term average. However, investor appetite for higher yielding debt continues to be a sought-after menu item in the credit segment as investors chase higher returns. The spread between high yield corporate bonds and investment grade corporate bonds has increased by 51 bps over the last six months at the same time the spread between investment grade and treasuries has barely budged.

Source: Thomson Reuters
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Please note that the content of this report is for informational purposes only and should not be viewed as investment advice or an offer or solicitation. Any opinions are solely those of the Strategy & Research Team of CBRE Global Investors and are subject to change without notice, and may not be consistent with market trends or future events. This research is based on current public information that we consider reliable, but we do not represent it as accurate, updated or complete, and it should not be relied on as such.

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