Aug 08 2012
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UAE Finance heads are confident about re-growth in the economy
The global economic recovery has slowed down again in early 2012, according to a worldwide survey of finance professionals who fear that governments which are already living beyond their means may struggle to get it back on track through extra public spending.
The Global Economic Conditions Survey (GECS) for the second quarter of 2012, undertaken by ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) and IMA (the Institute of Management Accountants), cautioned that growth across the world's most developed economies has stalled once again and that the global economy is as fragile as it has ever been in the last three years. The global survey of 2,700 professional accountants, now well into its third year, suggests that hints of a stronger recovery in early 2012 were mostly down to misplaced optimism, and that most of the gains made at the time have since been reversed.
UAE - leading the recovery, for now
Cash flow pressures appear to have eased significantly in the Emirates over the last three months, with fewer professionals worrying about the survival of their suppliers or customers, and incidences of late payment are down as well. Importantly, new orders appear to be on the rise.
China's slowing economy has dominated the survey findings this quarter, although ACCA and IMA stress that there are few signs of the hard landing many commentators had feared. That said, both confidence and investment are falling despite increasing business opportunities. Survey editor Manos Schizas, Senior Economic Analyst with ACCA said: "The point now is to see how far and how fast the Chinese slowdown will travel. Our members in Africa tend to feel any fallout from Asia fairly quickly, and there could be implications for other markets which trade with China."
According to the survey, the flip side of the Chinese slowdown is a recovery for the US economy, where investment is on the rise and confidence is high, despite significant potential problems.
With growth faltering once again, the finance professionals surveyed by ACCA and IMA are rethinking their attitudes towards public spending. However, the policy choice is not quite so simple. Accountants working in major markets such as the US, China, Russia, Malaysia, or Pakistan - economies relied on by others for trade and export opportunities - believe that fiscal stimulus by their governments is already unsustainable. It was in only a few markets that respondents believed that their governments could spend both robustly and sustainably - places such as Singapore, or the UAE.
Manos Schizas said: "Finance professionals who responded to this survey were quite at ease with the prospect of austerity until mid-2010. Then the recovery failed to take off and everything changed. Relatively few believe their governments can make austerity work, even in countries such as Ireland where it has been executed quite successfully. Except this time there is a limit to what even countries with strong credit ratings and no liquidity constraints, such as the US and China, can do."
About IMA® (Institute of Management Accountants):
IMA®, the association for 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 60,000 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.imamiddleeast.org.
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 147,000 members and 424,000 students in 170 countries, helping them to develop successful careers in accounting and business, with the skills required by employers. We work through a network of over 80 offices and centres and more than 8,500 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.
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