NEW JERSEY—According to a recent report put out by Cresa NJ, the positive economic progress reported during the last two quarters have reversed. The firm’s second-quarter “Tenant’s Guide” cites political uncertainty in Washington, healthcare reform and the European debt crisis as contributors to the shift.

“Contrary to the trends that began to build steam late in 2011, we’ve seen slower manufacturing activity, fewer home sales and lower consumer confidence,” said Tom Giannone, co-managing principal of Cresa’s New Jersey office. “The bad news continued into the jobs sector, where we saw a meager growth of 69,000 jobs in May, while unemployment rose from 8.1 percent to 8.2 percent nationally, with New Jersey rising to 9.2 percent.”

Highlights of the second quarter findings include:

• After being relatively stable for the past seven quarters, the vacancy rate for Class A office space increased from 16.3 percent to 16.4 percent, the highest rate since 2004.

• New Jersey saw 165 Class A office transactions, which is the lowest number of transactions since 2005 and a 32 percent decrease from the five-year average.

• Leasing activity for industrial space decreased, resulting in the lowest number of closed deals in 15 quarters.