Global economic conditions survey report: Q3, 2014

The Global Economic Conditions Survey (GECS), carried out jointly by ACCA and IMA, is the largest regular economic survey of accountants in the world, in terms of both the number of respondents and the range of economic variables it monitors. Its main indices are good predictors of GDP growth in the OECD countries and daily trend deviations correlate well with the VIX or ‘fear’ index, which measures expected stock price volatility.


This is the 23rd edition of the survey, and the 12th since ACCA and IMA first joined forces to conduct this research. Over the years, GECS has been covered in the international, national and local press more than 6,500 times, and its combined dataset now includes more than 42,000 responses. A review of the first five years of the survey, Five Years of the Global Economic Recovery, was published by ACCA and IMA in July 2014.

Fieldwork for the Q3 2014 edition of the GECS took place between 13 August and 3 September 2014, and attracted responses from about 1,000 finance professionals, of which over 400 in senior roles (including just under 100 CFOs). Among other things, the fieldwork period followed the acknowledgement of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa as an ‘international health emergency’ by the World Health Organisation (WHO), as well as the first US airstrikes against Islamic State positions in Iraq but not the subsequent campaign in Syria. Elsewhere, the fieldwork period covered most of the run-up to the Scottish independence referendum, and some of the run-up to Alibaba’s record-breaking IPO, but not the actual events themselves. It also did not include the events related to the Occupy Central movement in Hong Kong.

As always, ACCA and IMA are deeply grateful to all members who gave up their
time to respond to the survey. Finance professionals have front-row seats to the
recovery, and it is their first-hand accounts of business conditions on the ground
that make the GECS a trusted barometer for the global economy. The two bodies
are currently working on making changes to the survey that will make it quicker and easier for more busy professionals to participate while maintaining its valuable long-term time series.