US commercial property values rose for a third month in January as the economy grew, according to Moody’s Investors Service.

The Moody’s/REAL Commercial Property Price Index climbed 1% from December, Moody’s said today in a report. Values are 40% lower than the peak in October 2007. The index fell 24% from a year earlier.

A growing economy may help boost commercial real estate values after rising joblessness cut demand last year for apartments, offices, retail space and distribution centers. US gross domestic product expanded at a 5.9% annual rate in the fourth quarter, according to the Commerce Department.

“We’re fairly optimistic about the economy looking ahead six to 12 months from now,” Matthew Anderson, a partner at Foresight Analytics said before the index was released. “We’re already in a stronger economy now than we were a year ago.”

The number of transactions fell 8% to 376 in January from a year earlier and was lower than December, when buyers and sellers tried to complete deals before the year’s end, according to the report.