Labor shortages and mounting inflation fears combined to dampen business executives’ outlook on the U.S. economy, according to the third-quarter Association of International Certified Professional Accountants’s Economic Outlook Survey. The survey polls chief executive officers, chief financial officers, controllers and other certified public accountants in U.S. companies who hold executive and senior management accounting roles.
A bare majority of executives (51%) expressed optimism about the U.S. economy over the next 12 months, although that represents a steep drop from last quarter’s measure of 70%. Survey respondents cited several factors for the decline:
“There is a significant downward shift – 51% versus 70% last quarter – in the percentage of business executives who feel optimistic about the U.S. economy,” said Ash Noah, CPA, CGMA, vice president and managing director of CGMA learning, education and development for the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants, representing the AICPA and CIMA. “This quarter’s score, however, compares favorably to a year ago when it stood at 24%. Business executives are expressing increased concern about inflation, staffing and the potential for COVID-19 variant surges, and this continued flux and uncertainty helps explain the current pullback in optimism on the economy.”
The AICPA survey is a forward-looking indicator that tracks hiring and business-related expectations for the next 12 months. In comparison, the U.S. Department of Labor’s August employment report, scheduled for release tomorrow, looks back on the previous month’s hiring trends.
The CPA Outlook Index—a comprehensive gauge of executive sentiment within the AICPA survey— now stands at 75, down three points from last quarter. The index is a composite of nine, equally weighted survey measures set on a scale of 0 to 100, with 50 considered neutral and higher numbers signifying positive sentiment.
Other key findings of the survey:
To access more business news, visit NJB News Now.Related Articles: