Despite the sluggish trend at year-end 2011, economic growth in the Americas region is expected to accelerate this year, leading to healthy leasing fundamentals in the office, industrial, and retail sectors, according to Cushman & Wakefield’s 2012 Economic Pulse report. Improving fundamentals largely hinge on rising consumer spending in the U.S., which would have positive effects on retail space demand as well as demand for manufacturing and distribution space. Limited supply in the U.S. industrial and office sectors –- office delivery hit a 15-year low for new construction –- is keeping fundamentals in check in those sectors. In Canada, a lack of new construction is keeping office vacancy rates low in most markets. In addition, the booming trade in Mexico and Brazil are pushing vacancy down and rents up, according to the report. Investment sales continue to rebound from the recession-depressed levels of recent years. While most of the increases have occurred in U.S. markets, investment volumes in Canada have been picking up since 2010, and volumes remained flat to slightly down in Brazil. Despite very low investment volumes, investors in Mexico saw strong gains last year. As 2012 continues, investors in the Americas region will show more willingness to take on risk in an improving economic environment, according to the report. The rising investment activity is likely to result in stronger growth in suburban and non-core markets.