Accountants Confidence Index — December 2018

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ACI December 2018 screen

The Accountants Confidence Index dropped slightly after two months of gains, with all eyes fixed on Washington in the aftermath of the midterm elections, waiting with bated breath to see what the results will mean in terms of growth, tax legislation and trade policy.

The ACI, published in partnership with ADP, is a monthly economic indicator that leverages the insights of accountants into the strength and prospects of businesses in the U.S. The 3-Month ACI came in at 55.5, down slightly from the previous month's 56.05, though still well above the 50 mark that separates expectations of growth from expectations of contraction. The 6-Month ACI, meanwhile, came in at 58.77, down from last month's 59.51.

The uncertainty that drove down the overall ACI played out among the index components, with most showing modest declines; however, respondents' expectations for their own firms were up in both the short- and the midterm, perhaps explaining why they ended the year with the ACI still firmly in expansionary territory.

The ACI is created from a monthly poll of the Accounting Today Executive Research Council, an online community of more than 1,500 tax and accounting professionals.