Business executives’ confidence in the U.S. economy fell significantly over the past three months, according to the latest survey conducted by the American Institute of CPAs.
A majority of executives who responded to the survey – 52 percent – were upbeat about the economy’s prospects, but that’s down from 68 percent in the first quarter. A year ago, 51 percent expressed optimism.
Optimism among the executives regarding their own businesses’ prospects also slipped for the second consecutive quarter – from 63 percent to 58 percent.
Optimists cited a growing economy, the employment situation, and the low cost of energy and capital as important factors. The pessimists expressed concerned about politics and the nation’s leaders, a lack of “real growth” and employment.
The cost of raw materials was cited as the No. 1 concern by 28 percent of those surveyed.
The poll of 570 CPAs who have leadership roles at their companies, such as chief financial officer and controller, was conducted May 12 through May 27.
The survey is viewed as a leading economic indicator since these executives oversee corporate finances and are involved in strategy.
The AICPA has a major presence in Durham.