BOSTON (WWLP) – Inflation is affecting every aspect of life, including business confidence. The threat of a recession has dogged businesses, with a report last week finding that business confidence was trending lower at the end of last year.
A report last week from Associated Industries of Massachusetts (AIM) showed its business confidence index fell 4.7 points in December, ending the year at 54 on a 1-100 scale. That was 2.7 percentage points below the December 2021 level.
The AIM expressed concern that the central bank’s efforts to slow inflation by raising interest rates could tip the economy into recession. Companies continue to struggle to recruit and retain staff, the business group said.
Massachusetts has a lower unemployment rate than the national average, but the state has been losing residents to lower-cost states.
AIM executive vice president Chris Geeham told 22News, “If we’re not already in a recession, we’re probably headed for a mild one. Now, remember, in Massachusetts, we’ve had two quarters of last year where Gross State Product actually fell. Now, growth actually fell, and that defines a recession.”
At the end of the month, economists plan to speak at a consensus revenue hearing aimed at finding out how much tax revenue lawmakers can plan to put into the budget. State officials have vastly understated tax revenues in the past two budget cycles, leading to historic tax refunds.
AIM surveyed 140 Massachusetts workers, and more than 50 were considered “active.”