ACCA/IMA Survey Reveals Global Confidence on the Rise
- 29 percent reported they have more confidence in the global economy, up from 16 percent in late 2011.
- 54 percent still believed the global economy was deteriorating or stagnating, down from 73 percent the previous quarter.
- 32 percent of respondents reported confidence gains, up from 18 percent in late 2011
- 49 percent believe the global economy is recovering or about to do so, up from 26 percent in the previous quarter.
- Respondents reported a significant recovery in new orders and business investment, and a particularly strong rise in employment, although substantial pressures remain.
- All US regions reported substantial, and statistically similar, confidence gains from a similarly low starting point, with the exception of the Northeast where confidence grew the least during early 2012.
- Much of the rise in global business confidence to objective improvements in the business environment, specifically new orders, but ACCA/IMA also warn that relief is an important driver in the short term ‒ especially given the decreasing chances for nightmare scenarios anticipated in late 2011, such as an escalation of the European debt crisis or a hard landing for the Chinese economy.
- Confidence gains were fairly consistent across global regions and industries, although the Americas and Western Europe seemed to benefit the most in early 2012, as did manufacturers and distributors, particularly in the high-tech sectors.
- There is increasing business dynamism, mostly in the Americas and Asia-Pacific, with businesses (1) securing new orders where previously they would not have, and (2) responding with increased investment and hiring.
- Investment has been subdued at the global level since the end of the "green shoots" stage of the global recovery, which lasted from mid-2009 to mid-2010. Africa is still the most confident of the seven major regions covered by the survey, but it is clearly losing ground.
- Respondents generally continue to believe that many major economies, including both the United States and China, are likely to spend unsustainably in the medium term. On the other hand, finance professionals in Western Europe and other countries experiencing austerity also doubted the sustainability of their own governments' fiscal policies.
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Source: Institute of Management Accountants