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Taking the Pulse of the 'Real' Economy

Thursday, 12 May 2011 | 6:51 PM ET
The REIT Track?
The best reason to own a REIT, is the dividend, and Washington REIT is no slouch with a 5.3% yield, says Mad Money host Jim Cramer. Skip McKenzie, the CEO of Washington REIT, weighs in.

To take the pulse of the U.S. economy, Cramer likes to hear what individual companies have to say. Real estate investment trusts, in particular, are a good read on commercial real estate. So REITs tend to gauge everything from retail to office space to industrial activity.

Washington REIT , for example, owns a diversified portfolio of 85 properties in the greater Washington, DC area. Its portfolio includes 44 percent office space, 15 percent medical office space, 14 percent retail, 16 percent residential and 11 percent industrial.

To learn more about these segments and what each says about the health of the economic recovery, Cramer invited CEO Skip McKenzie onto "Mad Money." Watch the video to see the full interview.

Call Cramer: 1-800-743-CNBC

Questions for Cramer? madmoney@cnbc.com

Questions, comments, suggestions for the Mad Money website? madcap@cnbc.com

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