Accountants Confidence Index — October 2018

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The Accountants Confidence Index rebounded after a relatively steep drop for September, recovering most of its loss.

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, up just under two points from the previous month's 53.74, and still well above the 50 mark that separates expectations of growth from expectations of contraction. The 6-Month ACI, meanwhile, came in at 58.51, up by more than a point-and-a-half from last month's 57.27.

The index components were mixed: Respondents were bullish on the prospects for their own firms -- particularly in anticipation of clients needing help with all the twists and turns of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act -- but much more mixed about their clients' prospects and those of the economy as a whole. Opinions about the future varied wildly, with our panel of accountants deeply divided about the likely impact of the TCJA, the need for more tax legislation, the impact of the Trump administration's policies both at home and abroad, and much more. One common note was the anticipation that the mid-term elections would clear away much of the uncertainty -- one way or another.

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.

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