Yesterdays news which saw recruiters tentatively heralding the beginning of the end of the downturn for the Dubai Job market was given further credence today as HSBC released its latest Gulf Business Confidence Index.
All but one of the Gulf countries experienced a rise in business confidence in the first three months of this year, with only Bahraini business people experiencing a minor drop in confidence.
As compared to a year ago, the Business Confidence Index rose by over 20 points. The good news for Jobseekers is that 39% of GCC businesses are planning to recruit more staff, which although only a slight increase on 37% in Quarter 4, 2009 is still positive.
Saudi Arabia, the most immune of the countries to the economic meltdown, not surprisingly remains the most optimistic in the GCC with an index of 96.3 points. Conversely, the UAE which of course includes Dubai has the lowest business cofidence at 76.6 – still up from 57.9 the year before.
More good news for the regional economy, but the index does remain well below the heady levels of 2007 and 2008.
HSBC’s Head of Global Banking for MENA, Tim Reid summed up the report, suggesting that there were “real signs of improvement across the region.” He was optimistice about the sustainability of the confidence citing the “increase in people expecting profits to rise” and also companies intention to recruit as reasons to “suggest that the future is more positive.”
Paul Holdsworth, Staff Writer, Gulf Jobs Market News