Economic recovery loses momentum in Q3 as higher prices and shortages pin back growth

High global growth as countries bounce back from the economic effects of the pandemic weakened in Q3, but confidence and orders remain at high levels, according to the latest Global Economic Survey from ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) and IMA (Institute of Management Accountants).

Global confidence fell by nine points in Q3, with falls in Western Europe (-24) and North America (-41) pulling down the score. However, both regions are still at relatively high levels of confidence, as is the case globally. In fact, confidence jumped in Asia Pacific (+11) and South Asia (+20), after falls in the previous survey.

The Middle East was the only region to record improved confidence for the six months of Q2 and Q3.

As regards orders, which is a useful benchmark to measure real economic activity – there was a split between advanced regions and emerging markets. There were falls in orders affecting North America and Western Europe contrasted with modest improvements in emerging markets.

However, the wider economic prospects in developed economies remain brighter than in emerging markets, where low vaccination rates continue to drag on economic recovery.

And, apart from Africa, all major regions are now reporting order levels above their pre-pandemic level, indicating a continued global recovery.

Another positive indication from the survey are the two ‘fear indices’, which measure concern that customers and suppliers may go out of business. Both declined again in Q3 and are now back in line with their long-run average levels after spiking around Q2 2020.

Concern about operating costs is now at its highest level since the start of 2019 and increased five points in Q3. This is driven by higher transport and commodities costs, leading to higher inflation and weaker growth now.

Michael Taylor, chief economist at ACCA, said: ‘A moderation in growth was to be expected, as the pace set earlier this year could not be maintained indefinitely.

‘Although confidence and orders have lost momentum in regions including North America and Western Europe, we are still seeing an encouraging picture of global economic recovery overall.

‘Concerns about extra operating costs for businesses should prove temporary as the price mechanism operates to encourage increased supply and reduced demand. But for now, the effects are to moderate global growth from a rapid to a steady pace. Nevertheless, growth should be sufficient for more economies to regain their pre-pandemic level of activity by the end of the year.’

‘Although economic growth has slowed in many regions and the prevalence of the Delta variant of COVID-19 particularly in developed countries expectedly drove down global confidence, underlying demand remains strong,’ said Loreal Jiles, vice president of research and thought leadership at IMA.

‘As COVID-19 vaccinations continue to increase and we remedy supply shortages and increased prices in advanced economies, there is an opportunity for overall confidence to increase significantly.’

The full GECS report can be found here:

https://www.accaglobal.com/gb/en/professional-insights/global-economics/gecs_q3_2021.html

 

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About ACCA

ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) is the global professional body for professional accountants.

We’re a thriving global community of 233,000 members and 536,000 future members based in 178 countries and regions, who work across a wide range of sectors and industries. We uphold he highest professional and ethical values.

We offer everyone everywhere the opportunity to experience a rewarding career in accountancy, finance and management. Our qualifications and learning opportunities develop strategic business leaders, forward-thinking professionals with the financial, business and digital expertise essential for the creation of sustainable organisations and flourishing societies.

Since 1904, being a force for public good has been embedded in our purpose. We believe that accountancy is a cornerstone profession of society and is vital helping economies, organisations and individuals to grow and prosper. It does this by creating robust trusted financial and business management, combating corruption, ensuring organisations are managed ethically, driving sustainability, and providing rewarding career opportunities.

And through our cutting-edge research, we lead the profession by answering today’s questions and preparing for the future. We’re a not-for-profit organisation. Find out more at accaglobal.com

About IMA® (Institute of Management Accountants)
IMA® is one of the largest and most respected associations focused exclusively on advancing the management accounting profession. Globally, IMA supports the profession through research, the CMA® (Certified Management Accountant) and CSCA® (Certified in Strategy and Competitive Analysis) programs, continuing education, networking, and advocacy of the highest ethical business practices. Twice named Professional Body of the Year by The Accountant/International Accounting Bulletin, IMA has a global network of about140,000 members in 150 countries and 350 professional and student chapters. Headquartered in Montvale, N.J., USA, IMA provides localized services through its four global regions: The Americas, Asia/Pacific, Europe and Middle East/India. For more information about IMA, please visit www.imanet.org.

"A moderation in growth was to be expected, as the pace set earlier this year could not be maintained indefinitely. Although confidence and orders have lost momentum in regions including North America and Western Europe, we are still seeing an encouraging picture of global economic recovery overall. Concerns about extra operating costs for businesses should prove temporary as the price mechanism operates to encourage increased supply and reduced demand. But for now, the effects are to moderate global growth from a rapid to a steady pace. Nevertheless, growth should be sufficient for more economies to regain their pre-pandemic level of activity by the end of the year. "

Michael Taylor - ACCA