Economic Outlook Improves

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Optimism about the U.S. economy’s prospects improved sharply in the second quarter, but compensation freezes, layoffs and capital spending cuts are still on the horizon for about half of companies, according to a new survey of CPA financial executives.

Nearly one-fifth of respondents were optimistic or very optimistic about the U.S. economy’s outlook over the next 12 months, according to results from the Business & Industry Economic Outlook Survey Q2 2009, conducted by the AICPA and the University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler Business School. Barely 5% expressed similar optimism in the first quarter of 2009. It is the first time in almost two years that the proportion of respondents expressing optimism in the U.S. economy has increased quarter to quarter. The government, improving economic indicators and the availability of credit were cited as causes for optimism in open-ended comments by respondents.

While more than one-half (53%) of respondents had a pessimistic or very pessimistic outlook for the economy in the second quarter of 2009, overall pessimism was down from 83% in the first quarter. The percentage of respondents who were “very pessimistic” decreased even more sharply-from nearly 21% in the first quarter to 7% this quarter.

Click here to read the rest of this article at the American Institute for Certified Public Accountants Journal of Accountancy.

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