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The drop in confidence could be seen as a result of people waking up to trends which have accumulated for the past year or more. Globally, demand has proven to be too weak to sustain reliable growth, investment refuses to pick up and inflation remains high. And on top of everything else, it’s still unclear whether the sovereign debt crisis in Europe can be contained, or indeed what it will mean if it cannot
—Manos Schizas, senior policy adviser, ACCA

Any signs of a recovery in the global economy have disappeared, according to the largest ever survey of finance professionals to be undertaken by ACCA

The report stresses that, while the economic situation is tough, the constant flow of depressing headlines may be making finance professionals even more pessimistic than conditions actually justify.

While the economic situation is tough, the constant flow of depressing headlines may be making finance professionals even more pessimistic than conditions actually justify, the report’s author has said.

Three quarters of the 2,873 professionals who took part in the Global Economic Conditions Survey between 19 August and 7 September 2011 thought global economic conditions were deteriorating or stagnating. Nearly half, (49%) had lost confidence in the economic prospects of their own organizations, while a similar percentage (45%) thought their governments were not dealing correctly with current economic challenges.

ACCA believes that much of the drop in confidence, especially in Europe and the Asia-Pacific region, is down to a flow of bad news rather than the economic fundamentals, which have deteriorated only slightly in the past three months. 

Manos Schizas, senior policy adviser with ACCA and survey editor, said:

'The weakening in demand and deteriorating access to finance reported by accountants were not sharp enough to justify the strong negative sentiment which they expressed. But after taking into account the effects that fear for the future will have on their views, the evidence still points to falling economic activity in the developed nations and a sharp slowdown in emerging economies.

'The drop in confidence could be seen as a result of people waking up to trends which have accumulated for the past year or more. Globally, demand has proven to be too weak to sustain reliable growth, investment refuses to pick up and inflation remains high. And on top of everything else, it’s still unclear whether the sovereign debt crisis in Europe can be contained, or indeed what it will mean if it cannot,' he said. 

Although all regions except the Middle East are now in negative territory in terms of both economic and business confidence, ACCA is particularly conscious of developments in the Asia-Pacific region, which once led the world into recovery. After falling steadily for more than a year, confidence levels in the region are now comparable to, if not lower than, those in Europe, and economies which undertaken more international trade (such as Singapore or Hong Kong) appear to be the worst hit.

For further information, please contact:

Colin Davis, ACCA Newsroom

+44 (0)20 7059 5738

+44 (0)7720 347713

colin.davis@accaglobal.com

Notes to Editors

  1. ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) is the global body for professional accountants. We aim to offer 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. 
  2. We support our 147,000 members and 424,000 students in 170 countries, helping them to develop successful careers in accounting and business, with the skills required by employers. We work through a network of over 80 offices and centres and more than 8,500 Approved Employers worldwide, who provide high standards of employee learning and development. Through our public interest remit, we promote appropriate regulation of accounting and conduct relevant research to ensure accountancy continues to grow in reputation and influence. 
  3. Founded in 1904, ACCA has consistently held unique core values: opportunity, diversity, innovation, integrity and accountability. We believe that accountants bring value to economies in all stages of development and seek to develop capacity in the profession and encourage the adoption of global standards. Our values are aligned to the needs of employers in all sectors and we ensure that through our qualifications, we prepare accountants for business. We seek to open up the profession to people of all backgrounds and remove artificial barriers, innovating our qualifications and delivery to meet the diverse needs of trainee professionals and their employers.