Despite a string of recent good news regarding the state of the economy, particularly in the U.S., finance professionals the world over are holding onto a markedly pessimistic view of the global marketplace. According to a survey released this week by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants and the Institute of Management Accountants, nearly three-quarters of finance professionals believe the global economy is either deteriorating or becoming stagnant. Furthermore, almost half of respondents have similarly gloomy projections for their respective organizations and employers. "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," Manos Schizas, author of the report and senior policy adviser at the ACCA. Many business owners may simply be worried about debt levels or rising operational costs, Schizas added. But if trends in employment, manufacturing and GDP continue, the outlook may begin to improve. Recent improvements in small business lending have also eased consumer credit decisions and business investment plans.