Accountants Confidence Index — September 2018

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ACI September 2018 screen

Following a relatively flat month, the Accountants Confidence Index dropped more steeply, as ongoing uncertainty over the ramifications of tax reform, the shape of the economy, and the trade and tariff policies of the Trump administration took its toll on accountants' outlook.

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 53.74, down just over two points from the previous month's 55.64, though still well above the 50 mark that separates expectations of growth from expectations of contraction. The 6-Month ACI, meanwhile, came in at 57.27, down by more than a point-and-a-half from last month's 58.91.

The index components were almost all off, with the biggest decline in the short-term expectations for large-business clients, which were down five full points, into contractionary territory. Interestingly, respondents' expectations for the economy as a whole were up very slightly in the short-term, and only off by a very little in 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.