Ireland's accountants don't think government policies are working and are more pessimistic about their own firms' prospects than they were three months earlier, according to the findings of a global survey.
The quarterly survey, by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, found that 13pc of the 176 respondents in Ireland were "much less confident" in terms of their overall business confidence than they were in the previous three months. Another 38pc were "less confident" while 37pc said their outlook was unchanged.
The results largely mirrored those of accountants in a number of other countries, including the UK. But the accountants surveyed in Ireland were the only ones surveyed around the globe where none of them were "much more confident" than in the previous quarter. However, only a very small proportion of accountants in most other countries said they were.
Over half of respondents in Ireland -- 53pc -- also said they thought the outlook for the global economy was getting worse. That compared to 27pc in the United States, 49pc in the UK and 61pc in Singapore.
Another 34pc of respondents in Ireland said they thought the global economy was "at the bottom", but would remain there for some time.
Accountants in Ireland also rated decreased income and problems with access to finance as key business challenges.
"After three consecutive quarters of weakening demand, the cumulative effect is beginning to take its toll on business and, with banks around the world facing an uphill climb towards capital adequacy, tightening finance is now adding to this challenge," said Liz Hughes, the head of ACCA Ireland.