The latest Global Economic Conditions Survey (GECS) from ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) and IMA® (Institute of Management Accountants) found that global economic confidence is at its highest level in years, with strong growth since the start of 2017.
Confidence in the Middle East has rebounded strongly, and now stands at its highest level since Q2 2015. GECS 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.
‘Economies in the Middle East have benefited from rising oil prices along with an improving global outlook,’ says Lindsay Degouve de Nuncques, Head of ACCA Middle East. ‘The UAE in particular has enjoyed an increase in non-oil exports and increased spending ahead of the 2020 World Expo. The rise in confidence is encouraging given the country introduced VAT this year, providing further economic stimulus.
In Saudi Arabia, the government is making great strides in realizing Vision 2030 by further embracing economic reforms, including the introduction of VAT and the recent push to open up and include more women in the workforce, further promoting a diverse and inclusive economy. With economic diversification, reform and further fiscal solidarity across the region, the increase in sentiment provides further encouragement for businesses and finance professionals.”
Hanadi Khalife, Director, MEA & India Operations, Institute of Management Accountants states “the results of the report show positive trends for the Middle East region, where diversifying the economy is a major focus for many of the key markets including the UAE and Saudi Arabia. Regional governments are investing heavily in driving innovation, new technology and creating job opportunities for current and future generations. The management accountancy industry is one of the sectors that is providing exciting opportunities for successful careers and we look forward to seeing continued growth in confidence and economic development within the region.”
Commenting on the global outlook Narayanan Vaidyanathan, Head of Business Insights at ACCA mentions that ‘the outlook for the global economy is as good as it has been for some time.’ ‘The continued rising confidence, led by North America, is also benefitting other key trading economies such as Africa and South Asia.’
‘The biggest concern on a global level is the potential for a full-blown trade war between US & China. While initial measures taken are not sufficient to disrupt either economy, an escalation could have global effects for their many regional trade partners.’