Return to economic growth by mid-2010: Canada's CAs

    TORONTO, April 29 /CNW/ - Two-thirds (67 per cent) of senior level
chartered accountants interviewed for the most recent CICA/RBC Business
Monitor (Q1 2009) expect Canada to experience economic growth by the end of
the second quarter of 2010.
    In the interim, respondents predicted declines in revenues and profit for
their own businesses in the year ahead - averaging a 3.9 per cent decrease in
revenue and 4.3 per cent decrease in profit, which is a significant shift from
the same time last year when respondents predicted revenue growth for their
own businesses of 2.4 per cent and profit growth of 1.3 per cent.
    Overall, national economic optimism remains at historically low levels at
four per cent, a considerable decline compared to Q1 2008 (24 per cent).
Optimism for the respondents' own businesses is also low at 21 per cent, down
considerably from a year ago (48 per cent).
    Not surprisingly, when asked about share price, almost all respondents
(92 per cent) who work for public companies indicated that they believed their
share price is undervalued.
    "It is good to hear that a majority of our CA respondents expect a return
to positive growth next year," said Kevin Dancey, FCA, president and CEO,
Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants. "While the optimistic outlook is
welcome, tough challenges remain and Canada's chartered accountants are valued
professionals that an organization can trust to help guide key decisions."
    To mitigate the challenges of the respondents whose companies are
negatively affected by the economic downturn, over half (67 per cent)
indicated they had reduced labour costs, reduced travel expenditures (64 per
cent) and delayed capital expenditures (61 per cent). Additionally, almost
half (48 per cent) have reduced advertising/marketing costs and delayed
expansion plans (46 per cent).
    "There is a distinct need and opportunity for all of us - banks,
professionals and government - to find ways to provide support and ensure
Canadian business' long term survival," added Shauneen Bruder, executive
vice-president, RBC Business and Commercial Banking. "With Canadian and U.S.
policymakers becoming increasingly aggressive in implementing measures to
reverse the economic downturn and boost growth, we believe Canada's recovery
will gain momentum in 2010."
    The CICA/RBC Business Monitor is issued quarterly, based on a survey
conducted by The Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants (CICA). The
report draws upon business insights of CAs in leadership positions in
privately and publicly held companies across Canada. For this Q1 2009 report,
emailed surveys were completed by 539 CAs of 3,724 identified by the CICA as
holding senior positions (CFOs, CEOs and COOs) in publicly or privately held
companies in Canada. The response rate was 14 per cent, with a margin of error
associated with this type of study at +/- 4.2 per cent, with a confidence
level of 95 per cent.
    The CICA/RBC Business Monitor (Q1 2009) is part of an international
initiative. The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) in
the United States and the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and
Wales (ICAEW) in the United Kingdom also undertake quarterly studies that tap
the insights of members in senior positions to provide a barometer of economic
activity in their nations and as a basis for future comparative analysis
across countries. The CICA/RBC Business Monitor (Q1 2009) is available online

    About CICA

    The Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants (CICA), together with the
provincial, territorial and Bermuda Institutes/Ordre of Chartered Accountants,
represents a membership of approximately 74,000 CAs and 10,000 students in
Canada and Bermuda. The CICA conducts research into current business issues
and supports the setting of accounting, auditing and assurance standards for
business, not-for-profit organizations and government. It issues guidance on
control and governance, publishes professional literature, develops continuing
education programs and represents the CA profession nationally and
internationally. CICA is a founding member of the International Federation of
Accountants (IFAC) and the Global Accounting Alliance (GAA).

    About RBC

    RBC delivers a wide range of financial services through a variety of
channels to individuals, small and medium-sized businesses and commercial
clients, including deposit accounts, investments and mutual funds, credit and
debit cards, business and personal loans, and residential and commercial
mortgages. It is the personal and commercial banking division of Royal Bank of
Canada (RY on TSX and NYSE).

For further information:

For further information: Interviews can be arranged with Kevin Dancey,
CICA president & CEO, by contacting: Tobin Lambie, CICA, (416) 204-3228 or c/o; Interviews can be arranged with Shauneen Bruder,
executive vice-president, RBC Business and Commercial Banking, by contacting:
Jackie Braden, (416) 974-2124 or c/o; or Janet Gibson
Eichner, (416) 974-7622 or c/o

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Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants

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