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Accounting leaders from around the U.S. reported a lower economic outlook for the third quarter but higher confidence than the same time in 2011, and North Bay experts are noting more positive observations on the local economy.
Part of a quarterly U.S. Economic Outlook Survey by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the group's CPA Outlook Index fell four points to 63 for the third quarter, according to the report, released Thursday. The index represents input from AICPA members who hold executive positions as CPAs in private and public institutions across a broad spectrum of sizes and industries.
A figure above 50 is a positive outlook. Yet, the index has declined for two consecutive quarters. Concerns about the U.S. economy were the strongest driver in the index decline, according to the report.
Still, the outlook is better than that of the third quarter of last year, when the composite index was 58. And it's well above the lowest point -- 32 for the first quarter of 2009.
Respondents noted they are less likely to hire than the previous quarter. However, despite a quarter-to-quarter decline of 3 points in the AICPA's hiring index, that outlook remained positive at 59.