Corporations Believe Economy is Improving

Although the economic conditions are improving, corporations are still adopting an observant attitude in hiring and providing training to staff.

According to the 4th quarter Global Economic Conditions Survey conducted by ACCA, accounting professionals have shown a surge in confidence in economic recovery, with 46% of respondents believing that the economic conditions are about to improve or already doing so.

On the other hand, the survey shows that investment, especially in human resources, is still falling across all regions. More than one-third (37%) of respondents reported a scaling down of investment in staff, while 33% reported falling investment in capital projects. Half of all respondents cited “continued tightening of finance” as the primary reason. It is reported that the number of redundancies in the finance profession across the world seems to have peaked in mid-2009, with the number of job losses now falling.

ACCA has expressed concern about businesses still cutting back on training for finance staff, warning that employers may regret when business picks up again. Dr Steve Priddy, Director of Technical Policy and Research, ACCA, comments, “Many of our members are treating the recovery as a mirage – they can see it on the horizon, but it remains there however much progress their organisations or their domestic economies might appear to be making.”

The survey has found that China and Hong Kong are leading the region’s economic recovery, with 65% of the 157 ACCA members expecting the world to emerge from the downturn in a year or less. More than half (55%) of respondents are revising their companies’ revenue prospects upwards. It is reported that investment is falling more slowly here than in any other major ACCA market in the world. Reduction in head count is becoming less frequent and the supply of capital has grown substantially.

The 4th quarter ACCA Global Economic Conditions Survey was conducted between 9 and 30 November 2009 and attracted 1,702 responses from ACCA members in 99 jurisdictions around the world.

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