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CPA group finds US execs optimistic about economy, Hiring

Not since 2007 have U.S. accountants in industry felt as optimistic about the future of their companies and the state of the domestic economy as they do now, according to the American Institute of CPAs’ third-quarter economic outlook survey.

The number of financial executives optimistic about the U.S. economy rose to 52 percent from 51 percent in the second quarter, which was it had passed the 50 percent mark since since the recession.

The survey polled CEOs, CFOs, controllers and other certified public accountants in U.S. companies who hold executive and senior management accounting roles.

Meanwhile, the CPA Outlook Index — a gauge of executive sentiment within the survey — rose two points in the third quarter to 74, the highest mark since the first quarter of 2007. An index rating above 50 indicates a positive outlook.

Fifty-one percent of companies reported they have the right number of employees and 9 percent said they have too many, both unchanged from the second quarter. Of those that need employees, 20 percent plan to hire, up from 17 percent in the second quarter; however, the remaining 18 percent are reluctant to hire.

The survey of AICPA Business & Industry members was conducted between Aug. 6 and Aug. 26, 2014, and had 1,110 qualified respondents.