Photo: telecoms.com Photo: telecoms.com

An employer group on Tuesday called 2013 a “lost year” for Massachusetts business confidence despite regular reports of economic growth throughout the year.

Associated Industries of Massachusetts reported that its business confidence index checked in barely above neutral in December.

 

“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,’” said Raymond Torto, chairman of AIM’s Board of Economic Advisors.

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

In a statement, AIM President Richard Lord said the stock market surge reflected conditions at larger companies, but said the data reflected problems facing small employers that “provide much of the dynamism and many of the jobs” in Massachusetts.

Lord said he was encouraged by “some degree of comity on fiscal matters” in Washington, D.C.

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