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Mass. Survey Shows Uptick In Business Confidence

This article is more than 7 years old.

A monthly index of business confidence in Massachusetts has moved back into positive territory after several recent declines.

Associated Industries of Massachusetts said Tuesday that its business confidence index edged up by 3.7 points in November.

AIM says most employers surveyed last month believed the economy would improve slowly rather than deteriorate further.

The confidence index now stands at 50.1, just above what is considered neutral. The index works on a scale of 100, with any reading above 50 indicating that employers are more optimistic than pessimistic about the business climate.

"That's the critical dividing line between an expanding economy and a contracting one," said Northeastern University economist Alan Clayton-Matthews. "So what the confidence index is suggesting is that the state's economy is continuing to expand, but at a very slow pace."

Clayton-Matthews says the results reflect a large amount of uncertainty.

"What happens to the European budget crisis will play a critical role in what happens both with the national economy and here in Massachusetts as well," he said. "If Europe dips into a significant recession, that could dim the outlook here."

The highest the index ever reached was 68.5 and it reached its all-time low of 33.3 in February 2009.

With reporting by The Associated Press and the WBUR Newsroom

This program aired on December 6, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.

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