The short-term and mid-term ACI readings both declined again in September, with the short-term reading indicating expectations of contraction.

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 48.75, down from 50.36 last month, while the 6-Month ACI hit 52.01, down from 52.73.

The index components generally saw modest declines, with the short-term and midterm forecasts for large businesses once again being the outliers -- both declined significantly, as they had in the previous month.

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.