Accountants lower economic expectations as coronavirus rages

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After recovering in July from May and June's record lows, the Accountants Confidence Index dropped back slightly as more and more coronavirus hotspots appeared across the country.

Many of the respondents noted that they were working remotely and avoiding interacting with clients and staff in person, while others had aggressive cleaning and social distancing efforts in place.

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 hit 44.34, down slightly from the previous month's 45.35 (though still far below the 50 mark that separates expectations of growth from expectations of contraction). The 6-Month ACI, meanwhile, came in at 50.6, down from last month's 52.07, and edging back toward contractionary territory.

The index components, including respondents' expectations for growth at their own firms, were down across the board, with the exception of expectations for growth at large businesses, which were up somewhat in both the short term and the long 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.

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