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Majority of accounting leaders optimistic about US economy; outlook steady for third straight quarter

June 06, 2019

Among certified public accountants who hold leadership roles, 57% are optimistic about the US economy over the next 12 months, according to results from the Economic Outlook Survey released today by the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants. It was the third straight quarter optimism has held at that level. However, the percentage is lower than the 74% who said the same in the second quarter of 2018.

Respondents who said their companies have too few employees and are ready to hire immediately edged up slightly in the quarter to 28% from 26% in last quarter’s survey. Those who want to hire but are hesitant because of uncertainty also edged up to 16% from 15%.

Availability of skilled talent remains a top challenge, and employee/benefit costs and staff turnover were top challenges as well, according to the AICPA survey.

Respondents forecast a 2.7% increase in salary and benefit costs over the next 12 months, up 0.1% from last quarter’s forecast.

Overall, 86% expected to increase salary and wages in the next 12 months. Only 8% didn’t expect to raise wages.

The survey took place from May 7 to May 28 and included 785 qualified responses from certified public accountants who hold leadership positions.

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