After a long spate of pessimism, our Accountants Confidence Index shook off the gloom and reported an expectation -- just barely -- of growth in both the short-term and the mid-term.

The ACI, created 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. Both the 3-Month and 6-Month ACI readings for this month rose above 50, which is the divider between growth and contraction. The 3-Month ACI came in at 50.01, up from 48.68, while the 6-Month ACI hit 51.53, up from 49.91.

The change was the result most of minor increases in most of the index's components, with the only noteworthy exception being that our Executive Research Council downgraded their expectations for their own firms.

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, who are asked to provide their estimates of the growth prospects of their own firms, their small, midsized and large business clients, and of the U.S. economy as a whole. Their responses are weighted and averaged to produce the ACI.

For more on this month's ACI, watch our Executive Summary.