General Slowdown Witnessed In Economic Confidence Across The Globe And The Middle East

  • ACCA and Institute of Management Accounting reveal the latest The Global Economic Conditions Survey report

  • Middle East region witnesses subdued growth in economic confidence due to macroeconomic factors

La-Femme ( General Slowdown Witnessed In Economic Confidence ) – The latest Global Economic Conditions Survey (GECS) launched by ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants)and IMA® (Institute of Management Accountants) witnessed a general slowdown in global economic confidence in the third quarter of 2018, its lowest since the beginning of 2016.

According to the survey, South Asia was the most confident part of the global economy, overtaking North America, where confidence was lower than previous years. The Middle East and Asia Pacific were next in line as confidence remained subdued with the region now at the bottom of its cycle since the survey begun.

‘Economies in the Middle East have previously benefited from rising oil prices, which up until recently were trading below $50 per barrel,’ says Lindsay Degouve de Nuncques, Head of ACCA Middle East. ‘However despite this, we have witnessed slower growth projections for sectors such as real estate and construction which is a key sector for countries like the UAE. This has resulted in sentiment declining, coupled with the currency being pegged to the US dollar – the rise of which would have dented competitiveness of non-oil exports from the region.

‘We would anticipate an increase in sentiment as we head into the next quarter, particularly given the recent announcement by the UAE cabinet who approved a three-year budget worth $49bn with no deficit, with 59 percent going towards education and social development.Similarly, Saudi Arabia plans to eliminate budget deficit by 2023 with neighbouring Bahrain to introduce VAT from 1 January 2019 – all of which should result in further economic stability across the region.’

Hanadi Khalife, Director, MEA & India Operations, Institute of Management Accountants commented that“Confidence in the Middle East has slowed down in the third quarter of the year due to several macroeconomic factors such as the geo strategic location of the region coupled with the fluctuation in oil prices. We anticipate that the results will change as governments in the Middle East region, are focusing on diversifying their economiesby investing heavily in driving innovation, new technology and creating job opportunities for current and future generations.”

Commenting on the global outlook Narayanan Vaidyanathan, Head of Business Insights at ACCA states ‘the world economy this year is on course for its strongest performance in seven years, boosted by a buoyant US.  Momentum going into 2019 will be positive but there are headwinds that will slow the pace of expansion as the year progresses. In the US the boost from tax cuts will fade and interest rates are likely to continue their gradual rise.

‘In China, growth is slowing down mainly as a result of recent monetary policy tightening introduced to slow credit growth. But the authorities may ease policy to support growth if trade tensions with the US escalate early next year. Policymakers appear to be finally recognizing recent rates of credit growth are unsustainable and a period of weaker economic growth is a price worth paying for a more secure financial system.

‘Prospects for the Eurozone remain positive; falling unemployment levels in many Eurozone countries is leading to higher wages, which is helping to support consumer spending., Meanwhile in the UK the economy is holding up well but Brexit uncertainty is extreme with less than six months before the due date for leaving the EU.’

About ACCA

ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) is the global body for professional accountants, offering 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.

ACCA supports its 200,000 members and 486,000 students in 180 countries, helping them to develop successful careers in accounting and business, with the skills required by employers. ACCA works through a network of 101 offices and centres and more than 7,200 Approved Employers worldwide, who provide high standards of employee learning and development. Through its public interest remit, ACCA promotes appropriate regulation of accounting and conducts relevant research to ensure accountancy continues to grow in reputation and influence.

ACCA is currently introducing major innovations to its flagship qualification to ensure its members and future members continue to be the most valued, up to date and sought-after accountancy professionals globally.

Founded in 1904, ACCA has consistently held unique core values: opportunity, diversity, innovation, integrity and accountability.

About IMA® (Institute of Management Accountants):

IMA®, named 2017 Professional Body of the Year by The Accountant/International Accounting Bulletin, 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 100,000 members in 140 countries and 300 professional and student chapters. Headquartered in Montvale, N.J., USA, IMA provides localized services through its four global regions: The Americas, Asia/Pacific, Europe, and Middle East/India.


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