Grubb & Ellis, a Chicago-based real estate services company, is projecting that the expected "sluggish" growth of the U.S. economy will be enough to keep commercial real estate leasing markets stable this year.G&E said it expects the volume of investment activity to decline by as much as 25% from the record levels of 2007. "Even in the absence of a recession, the U.S. economy is likely to expand at a sluggish pace," said Robert Bach, senior vice president and chief economist at G&E. "Monthly payroll job growth is expected to average 75,000 in 2008, quite modest, but enough to keep a floor under demand for commercial real estate." The office market is expected to absorb 36 million square feet in 2008, down nearly 50% from absorption in 2007, the company projects in its 2008 Global Real Estate Forecast. The company can be found online at http://www.grubb-ellis.com.

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