UAE finance execs most optimistic in Q3 - survey

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Finance professionals in the UAE were the most optimistic and confident in the world during the third quarter of 2012, according to a new global survey.

The latest Global Economic Conditions Survey undertaken by ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) and IMA (the Institute of Management Accountants), showed that 37 percent reported confidence gains in the UAE while 35 percent reported confidence losses.

Globally, more than two-thirds of 2,500 executives polled in Q3 said they now believe that the global economy is stagnating or reversing.

The study said the latest fall in global confidence was due almost entirely to changing business fundamentals - such as demand, access to finance, prompt payment and inflation - as opposed to respondents' sentiment. 

Stuart Dunlop, head of ACCA Middle East, said: "The Middle East is now the most confident of the GECS regions, with 30 percent of respondents here reporting an increase in confidence, while 52 percent believe the state of the global economy is improving.

"But respondents in the Emirates have on balance believed for most of the past year that the government is engaged in a sustainable programme of fiscal stimulus which will support growth."

Respondents in the UAE cited growth in the tourism sector and an expanding pipeline of government and public-private sector funded infrastructure projects as key benefits.

The poll showed that while some UAE respondents reported benefits from this growth, they were also cautious about the prospects of increased long-term uncertainty for the entire region.

Elsewhere, the survey highlighted continued uncertainty across the Asia-Pacific region, which is still feeling the effects of the economic downturn in China.

The survey saw a glimmer of hope in Western Europe, where respondents said that they had started to see the beginnings of a credible plan to resolve the region's sovereign debt crisis.

Survey editor Manos Schizas, senior economic analyst with ACCA, said: "This quarter has seen business confidence fall for all the right reasons. Around the world, and with few exceptions, the fundamentals of the business environment are deteriorating, and businesses are once again having the kinds of liquidity problems we thought we had put behind us."

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