Reversing Recent Gains, Mass. Economic Confidence Down

Business confidence is down in Massachusetts, according to two recently released studies.

One study, compiled by the Associated Industries of Massachusetts (AIM), says that employers across the state doubt that the economy will continue to gradually improve, as it has in recent months.

The AIM Business Confidence Index fell more than five points in July, the most significant monthly setback since the index hit its nadir in February 2009.

"That drops it below 50, which is neutral on our 100-point scale,” said AIM's Andre Mayer. “But the index has been moving up 14 gains in the previous 16 months, so this is a hitch in the recovery.”

Many analysts predicted that there would be weaker economic growth in the second half of the year, according to Mayer.

As business confidence ebbs, consumers may follow suit. According to Mass Insight, a research firm, consumer confidence is also down, reversing two straight quarters of increases.

The think tank’s Consumer Confidence Index dropped 19 points in July to its lowest level since October 2009.

Despite July’s downturn in confidence, Mayer says the disappointing numbers may just be a slight hitch in eventual economic recovery.

“We certainly can't look at this as the beginning of a decline,” Mayer said. “There's every likelihood the ongoing rise will continue.”


This program aired on August 3, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.