A confidence index that tracks the mood of local employers posted a 1.8-point gain in January for a reading of 52.8, a sign that many business leaders in the state believe that the economy is undergoing a “slow and halting recovery.”
The monthly index is maintained by the Associated Industries of Massachusetts, or AIM, an employer association of Bay State businesses and institutions. The index uses a 100-point scale. A reading above 50 indicates a positive outlook, a reading below 50 a negative one.
In a statement, Raymond G. Torto, the chair of AIM’s Board of Economic Advisors, said: “We have had three straight monthly increases totaling 6.4 points, bringing the index back above 50, which is neutral on our scale. The index is below last January’s reading (55.2), but that was a strong month – we are right back in the range of late 2010 and early 2011. Massachusetts employers are telling us that this continues to be a slow and halting recovery.”
AIM’s Business Confidence Index has been issued monthly since July 1991. Its historical high was 68.5, attained in 1997 and 1998. Its all-time low was 33.3 in February 2009.