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Economic confidence wavers, says AAIA

Results of the joint Business Confidence Index for February 2011 show that aftermarket business leaders were roughly twice as confident in the future of the automotive aftermarket over the next 12 months than they were regarding the economy in general, reports Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association (AAIA) and Northwood University.

AAIA members completed the second monthly index survey, and data shows that:

* Seventy-two percent were slightly more confident in the aftermarket over the next 12 months, which is up from 50% in January 2011. Only 13% of respondents were significantly more confident about doing business in the aftermarket over the next 12 months, a decrease from January's 21%.

* Only 8% were significantly more confident in the economy over the next 12 months, an increase from 4% in January 2011. Forty-one percent reported being slightly more confident about the economy over the same period, which is down 13% from 54% in January 2011.

* A score of 51-100 on the index signals leaders are "significantly more confident" in the aftermarket or the economy respectively over the next 12 months, while a score of 1-50 indicates they are "slightly more confident" in said areas over the next 12 months.

Aftermarket business leaders were less confident in the economy as a whole in February as the AAIA/Northwood University Economic Confidence Index fell from 22.4 to 12.8. The overall AAIA/Northwood University Automotive Aftermarket Business Confidence Index for the month was 29.5, leaving aftermarket leaders in the middle of the "slightly more confident" range.

"It is clear aftermarket leaders had less confidence in the industry in February relative to January of this year," says Dr. Timothy Nash, Northwood University. "It is also obvious that business leaders were less confident in the overall economy in February relative to January. Both the AAIA/Northwood University Automotive Aftermarket Business Confidence Index and the AAIA/Northwood University Automotive Aftermarket Economic Confidence Index were positive again in February, but mirror concerns that many economists have that the general economy could be slowing down."

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