U.S. industrial real estate markets "decelerated considerably" in the fourth quarter, suggesting that 2008 "might be a comparatively subdued year," according to Colliers International, a Boston-based global real estate services firm. The markets absorbed 26.5 million square feet of industrial space in the quarter, compared with 55.7 msf in the third quarter, Colliers said. "Even though the export sector continues to fire on all cylinders, the strength of the domestic economy has been shaken," said Ross Moore, the organization's senior vice president and director of market and economic research. "As a result, businesses are reluctant to sign leases. This situation may unfortunately persist through midyear 2008, but Colliers remains confident that the underlying economy is strong and will thus respond favorably to recent actions by the Fed and other policymakers." Colliers can be found online at http://www.colliers.com.

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