LAHORE - The fragile global recovery has gone into reverse in the third quarter of 2010, with investment and business confidence suffering a serious setback, says the latest survey of finance professionals by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants. Nearly half (49 percent) of the 1,895 professional accountants surveyed by the ACCA believe that conditions are deteriorating. Crucially, the report says, the outlook for new orders has weakened in the last three months and more respondents are now reporting concerns about whether their suppliers can continue to be viable. Inflation continued to rise in the last quarter, with 35pc of respondents seeing an increase in their operating costs, while slightly more accountants reported that their firms and clients could not get vital finance from banks and other lenders than three months ago. While ACCA has warned that it is too early to tell whether any particular economies are about to suffer a renewed downturn, it expects that the next quarters figures will show whether we are dealing with a temporary 'pause for breath or something much more dangerous. The probability of the latter is reinforced by a sharp deterioration in the surveys investment indices. ACCA believes that governments gradual withdrawal of support for investment over the past nine months is now beginning to tell as demand and financing conditions weaken once again. Confidence in the global economic recovery has taken a serious knock in Pakistan during the last three months, and accountants confidence in the prospect of their own organisations has fallen accordingly. The share of the respondents who thought the recovery was imminent or already underway fell from 60pc to 42pc, and 42pc of respondents reported a loss of confidence in their organisations, up from 23pc. A major contributor to this has been the rise of inflation, with two thirds (67pc) of respondents reporting its effects on themselves and their clients. This in turn was reinforced by foreign exchange rate fluctuations, which were cited as a problem by 44pc of the sample. Pakistan is, in fact, more extensively affected by both of these problems than any other major ACCA market. Coupled with falling demand (cited by 63pc) these problems have led to larger-scale job cuts than those seen in any other major ACCA market.