Global economic confidence remains high at year end, finds Global Economic Conditions Survey

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Global economic confidence remained relatively high at the end of 2017 despite a slight dip from the previous quarter, with an improved economic outlook in the US and South Asia off-setting a more cautious mood in China.

According to the latest Global Economic Conditions Survey (GECS), produced by ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) and IMA (the Institute of Management Accountants), economic confidence remains high relative to the last couple of years and should continue into 2018.

Narayanan Vaidyanathan, Head of Business Insights at ACCA says,

Despite a small dip, the relatively high level of confidence reflects a stronger outlook in the US and India. Yet on a global level the picture remains mixed: the number of respondents expecting conditions to worsen now exceeds those expecting it to improve by 14 percentage points.

‘The hurricanes in the Caribbean last September and falling oil prices in the Middle East have seen regional confidence fall sharply.’

Raef Lawson, CMA, CPA, Ph.D., IMA vice president of research and policy, says,

Confidence in the US has rebounded strongly, and is now at its highest level since the start of 2017. With growth expected to hit 3% this year, and recent tax changes raising hopes of further fiscal boost, over a third of respondents expect to see improving conditions.

‘Yet 25% feel less confident than in the previous quarter. In particular there are concerns, with near full employment, the recent corporation tax cut could lead to inflation rather than growth.’

Narayanan Vaidyanathan adds,

‘The overall outlook for 2018 is a promising one in terms of global economic growth and confidence. Some of the signs of a global economic recovery in 2017 look set to continue, with improvements for developed and emerging markets.’

Fieldwork for the Q4 2017 GECS took place between 24 November and 11 December 2017 and attracted 4,011 responses from ACCA and IMA members around the world, including more than 250 CFOs.

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ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) is the global body for professional accountants, offering business-relevant, first-choice qualifications to people of application, ability and ambition around the world who seek a rewarding career in accountancy, finance and management.

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