Consumers remain skittish, but corporate finance officials are becoming a bit more optimistic about the U.S. economy, another sign that recovery is coming.
In a quarterly survey conducted by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and UNC-Chapel Hill's Kenan-Flagler Business School, 39 percent of financial officers said they were "slightly more confident" about the economy. Forty-one percent said they were "pessimistic" about the U.S. economy over the next year, down 12 percentage points from the second quarter.
Since they oversee companies' books, financial officers are widely considered good predictors of future economic trends.
"The trend is definitely in the right direction," said UNC accounting professor Mark Lang.