Pittsfield: Date for Chamber Nite set

The Berkshire Chamber of Commerce will hold its first monthly Chamber Nite event of 2014 on Wednesday, Jan. 15 at the Greylock Federal Credit Union at 150 West St.

Networking will take place from 5 to 7 p.m. Registration is encouraged by Friday.

Berkshire United Way will draw a name from those who donated to the BUW in 2013 to receive a brand new 2014 Nissan Vera, donated by The Johnson Dealerships and the Greylock Federal Credit Union.

The Berkshire Chamber offers monthly networking opportunities as a free benefit to members. Chamber Nite events are open exclusively to Berkshire Chamber members and their employees.

Registration: (413) 499-4000; dthomas@berkshirechamber.com; www.berkshirechamber.com.

Boston: Confidence Index holds steady

The Associated Industries of Massachusetts Business Confidence Index held steady in December at 50.2, closing 2013 barely above neutral on its 100-point scale.

"In terms of business confidence, 2013 was a lost year despite widespread evidence that the economy continued to strengthen over its course," said Raymond G. Torto, global Chairman of research at CBRE and Chair of AIM's Board of Economic Advisors (BEA). "Political uncertainties, particularly around fiscal policy, weighed negatively, but this was also true in the previous year -- in December 2012 we were on the edge of the ‘fiscal cliff.'


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"We are seeing notably pessimistic survey responses from small employers, which might reflect the impact on small business of the government shutdown. Smaller employers do not have the staying power to weather cash-flow disruptions," Torto noted.

The AIM Index has appeared monthly since July 1991. It is calculated on a 100-point scale, with 50 as neutral; a reading above 50 is positive, while below 50 is negative. The Index reached its historic high of 68.5 on two occasions in 1997-98, and its all-time low of 33.3 in February 2009.