BOSTON (AP) -- A monthly survey of Massachusetts employers is showing diminished optimism about the economy.
Associated Industries of Massachusetts reported Thursday that its business confidence index fell nearly 4 points in August and now stands at 48.7 on a scale of 100.
A reading below 50 indicates employers are more pessimistic than optimistic about the current business climate.
The drop in August reverses a rise during July and leaves the index 6.5 points below its year-ago level.
The chair of AIM's board of economic advisers, Raymond Torto said the drop was due in part to an uptick in interest rates, another looming debt ceiling crisis, and the possibility of military intervention in Syria.
The index reached its historic high of 68.5 in 1997 and 1998, and its all-time low of 33.3 in 2009.