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In March consumer confidence showed an improvement, after declining in the first two months of the year.
Development activity is still good albeit selective: in the first three months of the year two new projects were inaugurated, one in Veneto and one in Piedmont.
During the year projects under construction are expected to complete for a total surface area of around 210,000 sqm of GLA, down slightly compared to 2016, a year that saw the completion of some large malls.
Investments in the sector declined in the first quarter compared to the same period of last year; the high street is still dominant, representing 67% of investment in the quarter.
Foreign capital continues to be dominant, with over 50% of the investment in the quarter. The timid return of domestic investors, which began at the end of 2016, is confirmed as a trend, especially in the high street sector.
Investment volumes in the retail sector in the third quarter of 2016 totalled 827 million Euro, showing strong growth compared to the previous quarter and the same period of last year.
For the first time since 2014, the share of domestic capital invested (44%) represented almost half of the total for the quarter.
With around one billion in the pipeline, investment activity is solid. The total at year end could be around 2-2.5 billion Euro.
Development activity is still buoyant with around 300,000 square metres expected to be completed in Q4 and a further 230,000 square metres under construction with completion expected between 2017 and 2018.
The economic outlook for year end is still uncertain: the constitutional referendum which will be held in December and the problem of the banking system are the major threats that affect the recovery.