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Mass. Business Confidence Index Sees Big Drop

A monthly measure of the confidence of Massachusetts businesses is showing its worst reading in nearly a year.

The Associated Industries of Massachusetts Business Confidence Index dropped 8.5 points in June.

The index now stands at 48.3; anything below 50 is considered negative territory. The index has not been below 50 since October.

“The 8.5-point monthly loss [in June] is the second-largest in the Index’s 21-year history,” according to a release from AIM.

The index’s fall, however, was not entirely surprising to AIM.

“A drop was hardly unexpected, especially in view of a spate of negative economic reports during the month,” said Raymond Torto, chair of AIM’s Board of Economic Advisors. “It remains to be seen how long this slump will last, and whether the size of the June decline may have been exaggerated by the timing of the responses.”

Torto cited concerns about Europe’s ongoing economic crisis and May’s disappointing national jobs report among reasons for the fall in reported business confidence.

The release adds: “The AIM Index is [now] off 1.7 points over one year and 5.4 over two years, but up 20.1 compared to June 2009.”

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