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ICAEW and business confidence

18/05/16

Accounting giant Grant Thornton and the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales’s (ICAEW) latest Business Confidence Monitor doesn’t make for particularly cheery reading. According to the latest edition of the Monitor, as many firms are reporting a fall in confidence as are reporting a rise – which is comparable to the levels observed during the ‘dark years’ between 2009 and 2012. The research also found that companies are planning on slowing salary increases and recruitment levels, while investment in research & development and capital spending is expected to grow at a reduced rate. 

The global economic outlook has certainly become gloomier in recent months, and there are several potential pitfalls which could derail a fragile recovery. There has been growing uncertainty surrounding the finances of the Eurozone for some years now, and a potential Brexit is doing little to alleviate continental and British monetary woes. Further afield, the global economy faces a number of significant challenges, including slowing Chinese economic growth and the US election. 

We decided to ask accountants on the ground about their expectations for 2016 in our forthcoming salary survey. Just 24% of those surveyed reported feeling more confident about their company’s performance over the next 12 months – with the Brexit cited as a major cause of uncertainty.  However, there is more confidence when it comes to earnings, with 71% of accountants expecting a salary increase. 
 
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