Pessimism about the national economy climbed sharply among professional accountants in leadership positions in Q3 2015, according to Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA Canada).

In fact, CPA Canada Business Monitor finds 40% of the business leaders surveyed are pessimistic about how the Canadian economy will perform over the next 12 months. That is a significant jump from the previous quarter, when 20% expressed pessimism. The last time pessimism levels were this high was in 2009.

Optimism fell to 17% in Q3, compared with 29% in Q2 2015. About 40% of the professional accountants surveyed were neutral about the prospects for the Canadian economy.

Read: How the Bank of Canada is failing investors

“Pessimism levels have been higher than usual,” says Kevin Dancey, president and CEO, CPA Canada, adding in the third quarter of 2014 optimism stood at 48%. “However, more recently, there have been mixed indicators about where the Canadian economy is heading, including signals of growth, so it will be interesting to see what the next quarterly results reveal.”

Oil prices remain the number one challenge to the Canadian economy, cited by 38% of survey participants. It’s followed by uncertainty about the Canadian economy (15%). On a positive note, 71% believe the U.S. economy is growing.

Read: U.S. import prices stronger than expected

Here are some additional findings.

  • Company optimism sits at 46%.
  • 57% are projecting revenue growth over the next 12 months, similar to the previous quarter.
  • 51% anticipate an increase in profits.
  • 36% are predicting growth at their company, unchanged from the previous quarter; 36% anticipate no change; and 24% expect a drop.