Consumer demand creates pressure for new retail construction. The metro’s growing medical and technology industries are adding new highly skilled and well-paid jobs, growing Boston’s consumer base. Retail sales are on pace to improve 4.5 percent in 2019, one of the highest rates in the country. Greater consumer spending is raising retailers’ demand for space and limited availability is placing upward pressure on marketed rents. The lack of space also triggered a variety of retail construction projects, especially in dense residential areas. Elevated development will weigh on vacancy in the short term, although operations remain some of the tightest in the nation.