Business confidence in the Middle East hits highest level since 2015
Source: ME NewsWire, ACCA , Author: Posted by BI-ME staff
Posted: Tue April 18, 2017 12:39 pm

UAE. --(ME NewsWire)-- .Business confidence in the Middle East rebounded strongly in the first quarter of 2017, in line with a substantial global increase, according to the latest edition of the Global Economic Conditions Survey.
 
The quarterly survey of global CFOs and finance professionals, conducted by ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) and IMA (the Institute of Management Accountants), has found that economic sentiment has been spearheaded by an increasingly confident outlook in North America and is reflected across leading developed and emerging markets. In particular, there has been the fastest rate of growth in global trade since 2015.

The confidence increase in the Middle East is due in part to the recent recovery in oil prices, and the region is likely to benefit from the resultant easing of fiscal austerity. The UAE in particular continued the trend of performing markedly better than other countries in the Middle East, with the survey indicating an increase in confidence, government spending and employment. 

However, there are still challenges on the horizon, with oil production likely to fall in 2017 as other countries look to reduce oil output.

In response to the report Lindsay Degouve de Nuncques, head of ACCA Middle East, says:
 
“The rise in confidence, combined with strong economic hard data, offers genuinely encouraging signs for the global economy: with an increasingly optimistic mood in the US and a stimulus-led recovery in China driving prospects for world trade.

The Middle East has seen an encouraging up-turn in our confidence levels and in government spending. The UAE in particular has performed well due to our sizeable non-oil sector and strong fiscal position, which allows us greater protection from falling oil prices.

However, we are likely to see borrowing costs rise across the Middle East in coming months in response to expected rises in US interest rates, as many of the exchange rates across the region are tied to the US dollar. Hopefully we can maintain business confidence while also efficiently navigating these challenges.”

The increase in optimism across the region provides welcome relief for organisations, as the GCC region prepares for the introduction of VAT from 1 January 2018 and governments continue strengthening their diversification strategies to further safeguard the economy.

The Global Economic Conditions Survey Q1 2017 can be read here.

Photo Caption: Lindsay Degouve de Nuncques, head of ACCA Middle East

About ACCA
ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) is the global body for professional accountants. It offers 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 188,000 members and 480,000 students in 178 countries, helping them to develop successful careers in accounting and business, with the skills required by employers. ACCA works through a network of 100 offices and centres and more than 7,110 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.

Founded in 1904, ACCA has consistently held unique core values: opportunity, diversity, innovation, integrity and accountability. It believes that accountants bring value to economies in all stages of development and seek to develop capacity in the profession and encourage the adoption of global standards. ACCA’s core values are aligned to the needs of employers in all sectors and it ensures that through its range of qualifications, it prepares accountants for business. ACCA seeks to open up the profession to people of all backgrounds and remove artificial barriers, innovating its qualifications and delivery to meet the diverse needs of trainee professionals and their employers.

More information is here: www.accaglobal.com

About the Global Economic Conditions Survey
The Global Economic Conditions Survey (GECS), carried out jointly by ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) and IMA (the Institute of Management Accountants), is the largest regular economic survey of accountants around the world, in terms of both the number of respondents and the range of economic variables it monitors.

Fieldwork for the Q1 2017 GECS took place between 24 February and 13 March 2017 and attracted 1,334 responses from ACCA and IMA members around the world, including more than 150 CFOs.

 

MIDDLE EAST BUSINESS COMMENT & ANALYSIS

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