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Gulf Businesses Confidence Index Hits 2 Year High – More Gulf Jobs

Middle East : 22 June 2010

Business people in the Gulf are “realisticallty optimistic” about their organisations outlook, according to HSBC’s “Gulf Business Confidence Index”, which hit a 2 year high in figures released this week.

The index, a barometer of the “mood” of our business leaders in the region, looks at parameters such as predictions of revenue, achieving targets, budgets and maintenence of profit.

Whilst we are unlikely to see a return to the boom times of a few years ago, and the index remains below its peak circa Q4 2007 and Q1 2008, confidence has grown quarter on quarter since the index bottomed out towards the end of 2008. Indeed, the outlook for business in the Middle East is positive, with 43% of respondents predicting increased turnover, 40% eyeing increased profits and a third planning to increase investment.

This is in stark contrast to the indices of January 2009 and October 2008 – where the number of respondents were uncertain as to whether they would hit their targets doubled to 24%.

Saudi Arabia, not surprisingly emerged as a clear winner, with an index of 97, with the UAE remaining the least confident, weighing in with a 78.4 index. The good news for people seeking jobs in the UAE is that federation had one of the highest quarterly rises – confidence that is defintely filtering out in to the Dubai Jobs market and the Abu Dhabi Jobs market.

The rising star amongst the Gulf states was Bahrain, which had the highest quarter-on-quarter rise.

HSBC MENA’s Regional Head of Commercial Banking, Simon Vaughan Johnson, commented that the results of the index demonstrated a “mood of realistic optimism” with “many companies” performing “better than they were 12 months ago.”

Whilst the boom times have probably gone for the foreseeable future, what is certain is that region is set for some “steady and sustainable growth.”

Sarah O'Connell, Staff Writer, Gulf Jobs Market
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