Canadian accountants more optimistic about economy: survey

OTTAWA — A survey of executive chartered accountants shows more optimism about the state of the Canadian economy than was the case three months earlier.

In the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants’ quarterly survey, taken in November, just 14 per cent of the CAs said a recession was likely to happen in Canada over the next six months. That was down 13 points from the survey done the previous quarter.

The outlook for the U.S. also improved in last year’s fourth quarter, with 44 per cent of respondents saying they expected a recession in the U.S., which was down 18 points from the third-quarter survey.

“It is encouraging to see executive CAs beginning 2012 by becoming more at ease with the economic climate in Canada and the United States,” Institute CEO Kevin Dancey said in a statement.

“Canadian businesses appear ready to face the challenges that a new year may bring, but the economic storm clouds forming overseas are a looming presence.”

Forty-five per cent said the U.S. economy presents the biggest challenge to economic growth in Canada, while 22 per cent cited Europe as the major concern.

The results were based on emailed surveys carried out with 311 chartered accountants in Canada holding a position of either chief executive officer, chief financial officer or chief operating offer. That represented seven per cent of those who were asked to take part.

Harris/Decima conducted the survey between Nov. 8 and 28, and the results were said to accurately reflect this segment of professionals within 5.6 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

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