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Wed 15 Aug 2012 04:37 PM

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UAE finance execs among world's most confident

Global survey shows number of late payment cases fall during Q2; new orders on rise

UAE finance execs among world's most confident
(Getty Images - for illustrative purposes only)

Financial professionals in the UAE are among the most confident in the world, according to a new survey by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants and the Institute of Management Accountants.

While the Global Economic Conditions Survey painted a gloomy picture overall, it showed the UAE was one of the most optimistic countries covered.

Some 35 percent of UAE respondents reported confidence gains (down from 42 percent in the previous quarter) against 27 percent reporting losses (up from 23 percent).

"While the overall loss of momentum is consistent with global trends, it is worth noting than only the UAE recorded net confidence gains in the second quarter of 2012," the survey said.

"Not surprisingly, positive attitudes towards the global economy are also more resilient in the UAE than elsewhere, with 46 percent of respondents thinking the recovery is on track, down from 53 percent," it added.

In the UAE, the survey showed that cash flow pressures appear to have eased significantly in over the last three months, with fewer professionals worrying about the survival of their suppliers or customers.

Incidences of late payment were down as well during Q2 while new orders appeared to be on the rise.

However, respondents also reported a surge in input prices and significant exchange rate fluctuations in the second quarter, mostly due to the dirham's dollar peg and expectations of a further round of quantitative easing in the States.

Respondents also reported a slowdown in the labour market, with employers apparently preferring to invest more in their existing staff.

Globally, the survey cautioned that growth across the world's most developed economies has stalled once again and that the global economy is as fragile as it has ever been in the last three years.

The global survey of 2,700 professional accountants suggested that hints of a stronger recovery in early 2012 were mostly down to misplaced optimism.

China's slowing economy dominated the survey findings in the second quarter.

Manos Schizas, senior economic analyst with ACCA said: "The point now is to see how far and how fast the Chinese slowdown will travel. Our members in Africa tend to feel any fallout from Asia fairly quickly, and there could be implications for other markets which trade with China."

According to the survey, the flip side of the Chinese slowdown is a recovery for the US economy, where investment is on the rise and confidence is high, despite significant potential problems.

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