ACCA Global Economic Confidence Survey
Latest findings reveal renewed optimism and confidence
04 Aug 2009
According to ACCA's latest global survey of finance professionals, economic recovery should be possible within the next 18 months.
The ACCA Global Economic Confidence Conditions Survey for the second quarter of 2009 reveal tentative signs that panic is no longer a major driver of the economy.
Optimism continues to depend substantially on the actions of national governments, but the reliance on state assistance has dissipated since the survey for the first quarter of 2009, and business confidence is now more clearly linked to expectations of future growth. Morale in key regions such as Asia Pacific is much higher, with small and medium-sized enterprises and large financial firms in particular increasingly buoyant about the future.
According to the survey, 64% of finance professionals feel the global economy has bottomed out – twice the number of those in the Q1 survey. More than a third even expect a recovery within the next 12 months.
However, 10% of respondents are far less optimistic, saying they expected the downturn to remain for three years or longer – a view that is twice as common among public sector accountants.
As far as regional expectations are concerned, the survey reveals that Western European financial professionals the least optimistic about a recovery, while those in Africa are more likely to believe conditions are improving. Respondents in Asia Pacific, however, are generally the most optimistic and consider that the worst is behind them, with expectations of a speedier recovery.
Despite this largely positive shift in perceptions, the survey of 546 ACCA members in 77 countries found only a marginal improvement in trading conditions in the three months to May 2009.
'While there is little evidence of economic recovery, there is renewed confidence and optimism,' said Dr Steve Priddy, ACCA director of technical policy and research. 'Our next quarterly survey will look for real changes in trading conditions which support that viewpoint and whether the private sector is backing its confidence by investing in people and capital – or whether public sector finance professionals are right to think that the global economy has some way to go before recovery begins.'