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Second Quarter 2013 Marks Decisive Turning Point for Global Economy, Survey Finds

August 05, 2013

ACCA and IMA Global Survey of Finance Professionals
Reports Optimism at Two-Year High

New York and Montvale, N.J., August 5, 2013 - According to the latest quarterly survey of domestic and international finance professionals, global business confidence and optimism related to the global economy rose in the second quarter of 2013, building on gains seen in the first three months of the year. This is among the findings detailed in the Q2 2013 Global Economic Conditions Survey conducted by ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) and IMA® (Institute of Management Accountants).

According to the survey, 47% of respondents felt the state of the economy was improving or about to do so, up from 43% in Q1, the highest optimism level in two years.

The Global Economic Conditions Survey (GECS) business confidence index inched higher in Q2, with 26% of respondents reporting increased confidence in their organizations’ prospects. Having warned against unwarranted optimism in the previous quarter, ACCA and IMA believe that business confidence was in line with improved fundamentals in Q2 2013.

Survey respondents reported improved access to growth capital in Q2, providing further evidence of economic progress. This was evident across regions and in most major markets, with the exception of mainland China and Ireland. While many influences have combined to produce this effect, ACCA and IMA singled out monetary stimulus in a number of major economies as the main reason.

Emmanouil Schizas, ACCA senior economic analyst and editor of the GEC Survey, commented: “This is not a recovery for everyone, but for significant parts of the world it looks like the real thing. If this new-found dynamism persists beyond a couple of quarters, it could build its own momentum independent of monetary policy.”

However, fiscal policy is also feeding into, and responding to, changes in business confidence. Respondents increasingly expect that a number of ‘big spenders,” led by China, Russia, and the US, will tighten their fiscal policies over the next five years.

Mr. Schizas explained: “These three countries represent about 37% of world GDP. While respondents there don’t expect their governments to embrace austerity, even a minor medium-term deceleration in government spending is likely to have a significant global impact.”

US business confidence rose in Q2 2013, led by a strong rebound in the manufacturing and engineering sectors.

Raef Lawson, Ph.D., CMA®, CPA, IMA vice president of research, said: “The US economy is starting to overcome the traumatic political impasses of the last year, although performance is not evenly spread around the country. Increasingly, different US regions are diverging in terms of business confidence, and possibly performance. In terms of confidence, the South and Northeast continued to underperform the rest of the US in Q2 2013, completing a full year of divergence.”

Emmanouil Schizas concludes: “For now, the second quarter of 2013 seems likely to prove a decisive turning point for the global economy – the beginning of a real recovery, for some of the global economy at least.”

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About the Survey
This is the 18th edition of the Global Economic Conditions Survey and the seventh carried out jointly by ACCA and IMA. Fieldwork took place between May 14 and June 13, 2013, attracting 1,833 responses from ACCA and IMA members around the world, including 172 CFOs). It is the largest global quarterly economic survey of accountants both in terms of the number of respondents and the scope of economic variables it monitors. For full survey results please visit: http://www.accaglobal.com/content/dam/acca/global/PDF-technical/global-economy/tech-ms-gec18.pdf

About ACCA
ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) is the global body for professional accountants with 162,000 members and 426,000 students in 170 countries worldwide. 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.

We work through a network of 89 offices and centres and more than 8,400 Approved Employers worldwide, who provide high standards of employee learning and development.

About IMA® (Institute of Management Accountants)
IMA®, the association of accountants and financial professionals in business, 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) program, continuing education, networking, and advocacy of the highest ethical business practices.  IMA has a global network of more than 65,000 members in 120 countries and 200 local chapter communities. IMA provides localized services through its offices in Montvale, N.J., USA; Zurich, Switzerland; Dubai, UAE; and Beijing, China. For more information about IMA, please visit www.imanet.org

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