Election Hits DC-MD-VA Development Hard

Originally published by: Wells FargoApril 10, 2012

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While economic conditions nationwide appear to be firming up, growth has clearly slowed in the greater Washington, D.C., area, as uncertainty about the federal budget and the outcome of the 2012 elections has stymied hiring in government and the private sector. The region’s unemployment rate remains relatively low, but has improved less over the past year than the national rate, suggesting the pace of economic growth in this area has slowed relative to the rest of the country. The slowdown is evident in the office market, which cooled considerably in the first quarter, with fewer government leases and the onset of some belt tightening at area federal contractors. Retail and industrial activity improved slightly, however, reflecting modest income gains, an improving national economy and increased in-migration. That said, hotel revenues have softened a bit, most likely reflecting the slowdown in government contracting.

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