Despite indications of good news for the national economy in the fourth quarter— such as a 1.8% increase in GDP to 3.25% and a decrease in unemployment to 8.6%—the good news may have been temporary. The positive changes were largely due to inventory restocking and workers withdrawing from the workforce, neither of which indicates true growth.

In the fourth quarter, New Jersey's office market remained negatively affected by layoffs and economic uncertainty, with the lowest volume of office leasing in more than 10 years and more companies electing to stay put. The quarter also saw continued negative absorption of space. Despite signs of increased weakness, a New Jersey Business & Industry Association survey of local businesses found that the employment outlook is more positive, with 86% of companies planning to add or retain employees in 2012.

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