Accountants feel more confident globally, but not in the U.S.

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Economic confidence improved globally in the third quarter of 2017, but continued to fall in the U.S., according to a new survey of accountants.

The quarterly Global Economic Conditions Survey from the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants and the Institute of Management Accountants, polled members of the ACCA and the IMA and found global economic confidence reached its second highest level in more than two years. Greater economic confidence in Asia and Africa offset lower confidence in the Middle East and the Americas.

“This quarter’s GECS suggests that the global economy is enjoying a strong recovery," said ACCA senior business analyst Narayanan Vaidyanathan in a statement. "While the global picture is optimistic, however, it does hide variations, with some regions doing much better than others."

South Asia was the most confident region in the third quarter, with India and Pakistan expected to grow strongly in the year ahead.

In the U.S., however, business confidence declined for the second quarter in a row. “This quarter, the number of people feeling less confident about the future exceeded those feeling more confident,” said IMA vice president of research and policy Raef Lawson in a statement. “This is the first time we’ve seen this since Q3 of 2016. The drop comes as the U.S. administration continues to deal with challenges in pushing through healthcare reform, tax cuts, and increases in infrastructure spending,”

Economic confidence in North America declined slightly during Q3, as 28 percent of respondents indicated they felt more confident in the future, as opposed to 30 percent who were feeling less confident. Canada in particular stood out as has the most optimistic part of the North America and Caribbean region in Q3.

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