GCC business confidence dips
Dubai, June 23, 2008
The UAE, Bahrain, and Saudi have recorded substantial drops in business confidence, in the second quater of this year, according to a survey.
The HSBC Gulf Business Confidence Index, showed that levels of business confidence had been maintaining the downward trend for the past 18 months while the general mood of Gulf business people remained buoyant, a report in the Khaleej Times said.
Overall, the Business Confidence Index dipped to a mark of 94 from the benchmark 100 set in February 2007 when HSBC started the index. The index dropped from 96.8 in the first quarter of this year.
Individually, the most confident country in the Gulf was Qatar, with a score of 109.1, the highest in the region.
The least confident were Kuwait and Oman, with scores of 91.8 and 92 respectively. The sharpest drops were recorded in the UAE (from 96.7 to 94.7), Bahrain (from 96.2 to 93.7) and Saudi Arabia (from 95.8 to 93.3).
Tim Reid, head of global banking for HSBC in the Middle East, said inflation pressure concerns, the rocketing price of oil, and employee issues were cited as the three main drivers in the dip in confidence levels.