A commercial real estate index maintained by the National Association of Realtors dipped in the fourth quarter, the second straight quarterly decline after hitting a record high last year, according to the NAR. The Commercial Leading Indicator for Brokerage Activity stood at 120.1 in the fourth quarter, down 0.4% from 120.6 in the third quarter but up 0.1% from 119.9 a year earlier, the association reported. The record high of 120.7 was reached in the second quarter of 2007. "The decline in the index implies that commercial activity, as measured by net absorption and the completion of new commercial buildings, is likely to contract moderately over the next six to nine months, which is consistent with an expectation for slower overall economic expansion in upcoming quarters," said NAR senior economist Lawrence Yun. The association can be found online at http://www.realtor.org.

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