From Commercial Connections, Summer 2016. With a slowdown in global economic activity, financial market volatility and a contentious presidential campaign, commercial real estate investors have taken a step back in the early months of 2016. The U.S. economy sputtered during the first quarter of 2016, with gross domestic product advancing at a weak 1.0 percent annual rate. The corporate outlook took a downward turn, while international trade bore the brunt of a soft economic environment and rising dollar. However, the markets remained divided along valuation lines, with small cap commercial real estate maintaining momentum against the broader moderation.