Employer confidence rises at year's end

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BOSTON — The Associated Industries of Massachusetts Business Confidence Index gained 1.6 points in December to increase to 62.2 and finish the year 3.6 points higher than 12 months ago. The results were driven by brightening views of the U.S. economy and an increasingly bullish outlook among state manufacturers, according to AIM. International trade tensions that had bothered employers for much of 2019 also eased last month.

"Business confidence remained steady and strong throughout 2019 as employers saw underlying strength in the economy through sometimes distracting political uncertainties," said Raymond G. Torto, chief of AIM's Board of Economic Advisers.

The monthly AIM Index, based on a survey of more than 100 Massachusetts employers, is calculated on a 100-point scale with 50 as neutral. Any reading above 50 is considered positive. The index has remained above 50 since October 2013.

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