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Global Retail Construction Hit New Highs In 2016, But Will Slow Drastically This Year

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Construction, construction workers

More retail centers were constructed globally in 2016 than the year before, despite the fact that U.S. retail bankruptcies are outpacing levels seen during the Great Recession.

A new CBRE Group report said 134.5M SF of shopping center space was completed globally last year, up 11.4% from 2015. China disproportionately fueled growth, and seven of the top 10 markets for retail completions were in that country. Mexico also had 14M SF developed across three major cities last year, helping to ramp up completions in the Americas by almost 44%.

While retail completions boomed last year, experts said much of that momentum is set to wane in 2017. The global pipeline of retail construction was down 22% at the end of 2016 from a year ago, suggesting there will be fewer completions this year as companies focus on growing an omnichannel presence rather than boosting their store count.