Optimism Continues among Local Employers

By Jordan Weinstein

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Mar. 6, 2012

BOSTON — Bay State employers appear to be gaining more confidence in the economy. Associated Industries of Massachusetts reported on Tuesday that its monthly business confidence index rose by more than two points in February to 54.9, the highest reading in nearly a year and the fourth straight month that the index gained ground.
 
The index works on a scale of 100. A reading above 50 indicates that businesses are more optimistic than pessimistic about the direction of the economy.

Raymond Torto, chairman of AIM’s board of economic advisors, said the rating demonstrated "improving health — not good health, but improving health. And that’s what we’re settling for nowadays.”

While most employers surveyed judged overall business conditions as "average," they felt more positive about the state's business climate than the national economy and were less worried about the prospect of another recession.

However, Torto thought world events might erode that optimism.
 
“This week alone we’ve had conversations about the price of oil and Iran, which might affect this number for the next month,” he said.

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