New ACCA and IMA Report: Economic Confidence Improves Globally, but Continues to Drop in U.S., in Third Quarter of 2017

Taylor Fenske
Stern Strategy Group
(on behalf of IMA)
(908) 325-3866

Jeff Simmons
Anat Gerstein, Inc.
(on behalf of ACCA Canada)
(917) 673-0024

New York and Montvale, N.J., October 23, 2017 – The latest Global Economic Conditions Survey (GECS) from ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) and IMA® (Institute of Management Accountants) released today found economic confidence has improved globally while continuing to fall in the United States in the third quarter of 2017. You can read the full report here or at

The survey noted that global economic confidence—at its second highest level in over two years—was bolstered by high performance across Asia and Africa, benefitting from a sustained period of economic expansion since the global financial crisis and offsetting depressed confidence in the Middle East and the Americas.

“This quarter’s GECS suggests that the global economy is enjoying a strong recovery. While the global picture is optimistic, however, it does hide variations, with some regions doing much better than others,’ said Narayanan Vaidyanathan, senior business analyst at ACCA.

South Asia was the most confident region in this quarter’s GECS, with the region’s two biggest economies, India and Pakistan, set to grow strongly over the next year. Said Vaidyanathan, “Economic confidence across Asia-Pacific is also strong, reaching a record high after three consecutive quarterly increases. The recovery in global demand, and subsequent improvement in export prospects, has created the fastest local levels of growth in several years.”

The survey paints a different picture in the United States, where business confidence fell for the second consecutive quarter. “This quarter, the number of people feeling less confident about the future exceeded those feeling more confident. This is the first time we’ve seen this since Q3 of 2016. The drop comes as the U.S. administration continues to deal with challenges in pushing through healthcare reform, tax cuts, and increases in infrastructure spending,” said Raef Lawson, Ph.D., CMA, CPA, IMA vice president of research and policy.

Overall, economic confidence in North America fell slightly in the third quarter of the year, with 28% of respondents saying they were feeling more confident about the future, compared with 30% who were feeling less confident. Canada has been the most optimistic part of the North America and Caribbean region over this last quarter.

Fieldwork for the Q3 2017 GECS took place between September 1 and 18, 2017 and attracted 1,277 responses from ACCA and IMA members around the world, including more than 114 CFOs.

About ACCA
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. We support our 198,000 members and 486,000 students in 180 countries, helping them to develop successful careers in accounting and business, with the skills required by employers. We work through a network of 101 offices and centres and more than 7,291 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. For more information, visit

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 90,000 members in 140 countries and 300 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, visit
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