AIM’s business confidence index stabilized in July

Goodness only knows what a business confidence snapshot will look like for early August, but a business confidence index for Massachusetts stabilized for the month of July after drops in May and June.

The index is maintained by the Associated Industries of Massachusetts, the state’s largest employer group. The index, which uses a 100-point scale, posted a 50.5 reading for July, up a half-point from the previous month’s reading. A reading above 50 indicates that the Bay State’s employer community has a generally optimistic outlook about the economy. A reading below 50 suggests less confidence.

“The index remains near the neutral midpoint of its 100-point scale, and results overall are very similar to what we saw in June,’’ Raymond G. Torto, the chair of AIM’s Board of Economic Advisors, said in a statement. “July brought more evidence of a lackluster economy, with the deadlock in Washington adding to the uncertainty about prospects for future growth. The deal reached at the end of the month to end the debt crisis may or may not restore faith in national leadership; it will not end the uncertainty, however, because we don’t know what the impact will be on the economy.’’   

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 AIM’s monthly business confidence index reached historically high readings of 68.5 in 1997 and 1998; its all-time low was 33.3 in February 2009.

The July 2011 reading is up 2 points from the reading of July 2010, AIM said.

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