Business relocations fuel consumer spending. Austin is set to lead the nation in population growth this year at 2.5 percent as out-of-state businesses continue to relocate to Central Texas. The business-friendly tax environment and talented labor pool serve as motivating factors, bringing more high-paying jobs to the area and providing a boost to consumer spending. With a solid demographic foundation in place, retailers will remain hard-pressed to find unoccupied space as the market’s vacancy sits near 4 percent. Availability in the northern suburbs will stay limited, while outer-ring communities on the east side also see vacancy rates tighten. Strong rental growth will follow slim availability to Round Rock and neighborhoods like Brushy Creek and Wells Branch, which will outperform steady marketwide gains.