Global accounting firm Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu said on Monday revenue at its member firms slipped 4.9 percent in fiscal 2009 to $26.1 billion, hurt by a decline in deal activity in the worldwide economic downturn.

Deloitte, one of the Big Four accounting firms, said revenues were essentially unchanged in its audit and tax businesses, and financial advisory services revenues dropped 6.1 percent, hurt largely by the drop in global merger and acquisition activity.

That was partially offset by a 7.3 percent increase in growth at its consulting business, Deloitte said.

In local currency terms, which do not account for changes in the value of the dollar, the firm said revenues grew 1 percent at its global member firms in the fiscal year, which ended May 31.

In a difficult economic climate we were able to achieve growth in many places, Deloitte's chief executive Jim Quigley said in a telephone interview with Reuters, adding he is seeing greater possibilities for economic activity going forward.

The conversation has shifted from whether we are going to move into a more severe recession to asking what is the shape of the recovery, Quigley said.

The ability to actually finance and complete some transactions has been enhanced and for our professionals who assist in mergers and acquisitions, even though the number of closed deals continues to lag, the number of deals under consideration has started to pick up.

Quigley noted strong demand for his firm's services in the energy, resources and healthcare industries. Deloitte, which competes with PricewaterhouseCoopers
, KPMG and Ernst & Young in accounting and advisory services, said it was also able to grow its public sector services business through an acquisition from bankrupt BearingPoint.

The public sector continues to be an ever growing sector of the GDP, Quigley said, noting the various professional services the U.S. government has required as it delved into financial and auto industry bailouts over the past year.

On a regional basis, the firm said that its Americas region saw a 1.3 percent decline in revenue growth, while Asia continued to be its fastest growing region for the fifth year in a row.

Deloitte said its Asian member firms showed revenue growth of 7.6 percent, on a local currency basis. The company's Indian unit grew revenue by 29.9 percent, while Australia revenue rose 11.5 percent.

The firm's revenue in Japan grew 11.3 percent helped by increased demand for services related to J-SOX corporate governance reforms. The firm also said it saw double-digit growth rates in Africa, the Middle East and Latin America.

Deloitte said it expanded its workforce by more than 40,000 people in fiscal 2009, bringing its total workforce to about 169,000.

(Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)