Aftermarket business leaders reported less confidence in the state of the economy in April, says a U.S. report. Results of the joint Business Confidence Index for April 2011 from the Automotive Aftermarket Industries Association (AAIA) and Northwood University show that aftermarket business leaders’ confidence in the overall economy wavered in April. Additionally, fewer of them currently report feeling significantly more confident about doing business in the industry. AAIA members completed the fourth monthly index survey, and data shows that: –Only 3.5% were significantly more confident in the economy over the next 12 months, a decrease from 7% in March 2011. Some 37% reported being slightly more confident about the economy over the same period, which is constant from March 2011. –Only 12.3% of respondents were significantly more confident about doing business in the aftermarket over the next 12 months, a decrease from March’s 19%; 42% were slightly more confident in the aftermarket over the next 12 months, which is up from 41% in March 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 April as the AAIA/Northwood University Economic Confidence Index fell from 7.4 to -6.14, the first time the index has reported a negative number to date. The overall AAIA/Northwood University Automotive Aftermarket Business Confidence Index for April was 16.7, down from 30.6 in March, leaving aftermarket leaders in the lower third of the “slightly more confident” range. “It is clear aftermarket leaders had less confidence in the industry, and in the overall economy, in April relative to March of this year,” said Dr. Timothy Nash, Northwood University. “The AAIA/Northwood University Automotive Aftermarket Business and Economic Confidence Indices were mixed in April, but mirror concerns many economists have, that the general economy could be slowing down as aftermarket leaders’ confidence in the general economy declined for the fourth straight month.” The fifth installment of the survey will be sent to members in early June, and results will continue to be calculated monthly and reported in AAIA SmartBrief. Member responses will be used solely in the aggregate and for the purpose of providing empirical information.