In the heat of August, the Accountants Confidence Index continued to melt, with the short-term index indicating expectations of contraction in the economy.

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 48.97, down almost a point from the previous month's 50.91 -- and more than a point below the 50-mark that separates expectations of growth from expectations of contraction. The 6-Month ACI, meanwhile, came in at 52.08, down more than two points from last month's 54.23.

The index components all dropped more or less; the biggest were in our panelists' expectations for their midsized business clients, in both the short- and the mid-term.

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.