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NEWARK, NJ-Conventional wisdom is that commercial real estate lags the general economy in cyclical performance, and if the observations of a panel of economic experts are on target, New Jersey’s real estate industry could be in for some very good times. Panelists at the Regional Business Partnership’s Election Eve Economic Outlook said the Garden State can expect new employment records and continued recovery in the months ahead.

“The New Jersey economy has now surpassed its pre-recession employment peak and will enter 2005 with considerable momentum,” according to James Hughes, dean of the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University.

John Silvia, Wachovia’s chief economist, agreed: “Economic recovery continues with a strong pattern of structural change in the labor market.”

“Although New Jersey’s employment growth has moderated slightly in recent months, our economic indicator shows a steady 3% gain in overall economic activity,” according to Rae Rosen, senior economist and assistant VP for the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. “This indicates that the recovery remains solidly on track, with the economy setting a new employment record each month of the second half of this year.”

“With the election a week off, the eyes of the nation are focused on Bush, Kerry, Iraq and the big national questions,” said Jim McQueeney, political analyst for News 12 New Jersey. “But we should not ignore the age-old wisdom that ‘all politics is local. That means voters in New Jersey are just as concerned about the many local economic issues [including] a new untested governor and scandals in Trenton.” The new governor, of course, is Acting Gov. Dick Codey, the state senate president who will take over from Gov. James McGreevey, who’s slated to resign in mid-November.

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