Carried out jointly by ACCA and IMA, GECS is the largest regular economic survey of accountants in the world, in terms of both the number of respondents and the range of economic variables it monitors. Its main indexes are good predictors of GDP growth in the OECD countries and daily trend deviations correlate well with the VIX or "fear" index, which measures expected stock price volatility.
Economic confidence dipped slightly in the second quarter of 2017, but it remains relatively high. The Global Economic Conditions Survey (GECS) findings are consistent with other survey data, such as the manufacturing PMIs and the official GDP figures, which show the global economy in good shape.
South Asia is the most confident region in Q2, and although confidence fell slightly in North America, it still comes in second. Confidence levels are lowest in the Middle East. As in Q1, the biggest concern cited by respondents is rising costs (47% of respondents), both in terms of wages and raw materials. Second on the list are worries about decreased income (40% of respondents), followed by concerns about securing prompt payment. Concern about suppliers going out of business is respondents’ smallest concern – cited by just 9%. The opportunity to benefit from innovation is the main positive development listed by respondents (41%), which is followed closely by the opportunity to focus on niche products (34%). Worryingly – in terms of the outlook for the next few quarters – just 13% of respondents cite the opportunity to increase orders. The inconclusive result of the UK’s general election in June appears to have had an adverse impact on the country’s economic confidence, which fell sharply in the second quarter; it is now at its second-lowest level since the GECS began in 2011.