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The Boston Globe


Fearing fiscal mess in Washington, businesses hold back

Business spending on new plants and equipment, which led the rebound from the recent recession, has slowed significantly amid fears Congress will be unable to avoid a year-end fiscal disaster.

US business spending fell last quarter for the first time in more than a year, an indicator that businesses are increasingly worried about the future and a harbinger of additional pullbacks in investment and hiring should the outlook continue to darken. On Monday, the survey of business confidence by the Associated Industries of Massachusetts found local businesses’ outlook on the national economy last month plunged to the same levels as during the recession.

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