CPAs who hold jobs as senior-level executives are far more pessimistic about the economy than they were a few months ago, according to a newly released survey by the American Institute of CPAs.

The AICPA polled 1,242 senior executives, including CFOs, CEOs, COOs and controllers, in October and found that only 30 percent of them were optimistic about the U.S. economic outlook over the next 12 months. That represented a 17 percent drop from the 47 percent who said in July they were optimistic, marking the lowest level in the three years since the AICPA began conducting the survey. Pessimism among the executives polled rose to 26 percent in the fourth quarter, an 11-point increase from the 15 percent of executives who responded in July.

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