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ANSWER: It depends.

Real estate's fortunes usually rise in a bullish economy, since indicators such as high employment and a strong regional economy can push up demand and prices for housing, office space, storage, retail and other categories of real estate.

But some financial advisers and fund managers consider real estate "countercyclical" since it can zig when the rest of the economy zags.

For example, even in a slow economy, consumers still need housing (they may opt to rent an apartment from a REIT, rather than buy a new home) and will continue to shop at retail outlets, pay for parking garages and storage facilities, etc.

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