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Flagging Demand Hits Business Confidence in Canada Despite Rising Faith in the Recovery, Finds ACCA/IMA Report

TORONTO, ONTARIO -- (Marketwired) -- 02/10/14 -- A drop in demand for goods and services and deteriorating cash flow put a brake on Canadian business confidence - belief in the prospects for one's own organization - in the second half of 2013, a global survey of financial professionals has revealed.

Nevertheless, belief in the prospects for the wider economy grew substantially.

The Global Economic Conditions Survey (GECS) was carried out by ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) and IMA (the Institute of Management Accountants). A total of 3,471 finance professionals in 120 jurisdictions were surveyed in the second half of 2013, with in-depth coverage available for 16 markets.

"Overall, the Canadian finance professionals interviewed were less optimistic than most other respondents about the prospects for their organizations," said Suzanne Godbehere, Head of ACCA Canada. "Thirty-seven per cent reported a loss of confidence in the second half, up from 34 per cent in the previous half."

Godbehere explained that the second half of 2013 should have seen Canadian business confidence increase. Business opportunities grew, making up for the ground lost in the previous year and a half, the supply of growth capital increased, and prices and exchange rates appeared to stabilize.

"However, with a continuing fall in demand and the resultant cash flow issues, businesses responded by cutting back on investment and confidence declined," said Godbehere.

Yet positive economic sentiment in Canada - a belief in the prospects for the wider economy - grew substantially. Fifty-six per cent of respondents believed that economic conditions are improving or about to do so - up from 46 per cent in the first half of the year.

The pessimists now make up only 40 per cent of the Canadian sample, down from 54 per cent in the first half.

The contrast between rising faith in the recovery and flagging business confidence in Canada was echoed in China and Hong Kong, as well as smaller economies with a strong expert base.

The professional bodies claim that the global 'consensus of recovery' that has taken hold in the second half of 2013 is divorced from economic conditions on the ground, especially in the slowing emerging markets. In Canada, fiscal policy was also a cause for concern for businesses, with respondents reporting unease as they watched the country emerge from an era of austerity.


1.  About GECS
    This is the 20th edition of GECS.


2.  About ACCA
    ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) is the global
    body for professional accountants with 162,000 members and 428,000
    students in 170 countries worldwide. We aim to offer 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.

    We work through a network of 89 offices and centres and more than 8,400
    Approved Employers worldwide, who provide high standards of employee
    learning and development.

    www.accaglobal.com

    ACCA Canada has 2,500 members and 1,200 students in Canada.

    ACCA is not affiliated with any chartered accountant (CA) organization.


3.  About IMA® (Institute of Management Accountants)

    IMA, the association of accountants and financial professionals in
    business, is one of the largest and most respected associations focused
    exclusively on advancing the management accounting profession. Globally,
    IMA supports the profession through research, certification, continuing
    education, networking, and advocacy of the highest ethical business
    practices.

    IMA has a global network of more than 65,000 members in 120 countries
    and 200 local chapter communities. IMA provides localized services
    through its offices in Montvale, N.J., USA; Zurich, Switzerland; Dubai,
    UAE; and Beijing, China. For more information about IMA, please visit
    www.imanet.org.

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