Processing Your Payment

Please do not leave this page until complete. This can take a few moments.

December 4, 2023

Central Mass. business confidence rises, although outlook remains pessimistic

Worcester's skyline, with smaller brick facade buildings in front of a glass skyscraper and City Hall's clock tower. Photo | Grant Welker Downtown Worcester

The Central Massachusetts Business Confidence Index rose from 45.7 to 49.6 in November, as statewide data showed a slight decrease.

Despite the increase in the regional numbers, the Central Massachusetts index is the only in the state where surveyed business leaders are still pessimistic about the future of the economy. Scored on a 100-point scale, an index number above 50 represents an optimistic outlook, while a number below 50 represents a pessimistic outlook. 

The statewide Business Confidence Index dropped two-tenths of a point, leaving it at 51, just 1.1 points away from dipping into pessimistic territory, according to a Monday release issued by the Associated Industries of Massachusetts, a Boston-based business association. 

Other regional indexes maintained by AIM, including the North Shore Confidence Index and the Western Massachusetts Business Confidence Index also saw declines; the North Shore Index fell from 54.2 to 52.2, while the Western Massachusetts Index fell from 54.1 to 51.8.

“Strong consumer spending throughout the summer helped the U.S. and Massachusetts economies during a period in which the Federal Reserve has increased interest rates to moderate inflation. The hope is now that the economy will slow in a deliberate manner instead of falling into recession,” Sara Johnson, chair of the AIM Board of Economic Advisors, said in the release.

Participants in the survey, which the index is based upon, confirmed the economy is slowing, with shortage of skilled labor being a major focus of employers.

Launched by AIM in 1991, the monthly Business Confidence Index is based on a survey of AIM member companies across Massachusetts. The Central Massachusetts Business Confidence Index is conducted in partnership with the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce. 

Sign up for Enews

WBJ Web Partners


Order a PDF