Our Accountants Confidence Index wobbled slightly at the end of the year, though it continued its positive trend for the fourth month in a row, with expectations of growth in both the short- 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. The 3-Month and 6-Month ACI readings for this month were slightly down from the previous month, though both were on the positive side of 50, which is the divider between growth and contraction. The 3-Month ACI came in at 50.52, down from 51.39, while the 6-Month ACI hit 52.50, down from 53.60.

Most of the index components dipped slightly -- with a significant drop in panelists' confidence in the short- and mid-term expectations for large businesses, perhaps reflecting a concern about holiday sales.

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.