Posted by Neil King
Business confidence among small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the UAE is currently above the global average, it has been revealed.
HSBC's Small Business Confidence Monitor, which covered over 6,300 SMEs across 21 markets in Asia, the Middle East, Europe, North America and Latin America, gave the UAE a confidence score of 120, which was above the global score of 118, the Khaleej Times reported.
In addition, the HSBC study found that a quarter of the UAE's SMEs are expecting to expand their workforce over the next six months, while 69 per cent plan to keep staffing at current levels. Only six per cent said they were considering decreasing their current workforce.
Meanwhile, 42 per cent of the UAE-based SMEs confirmed they are planning to increase their capital expenditure over the second half of the year while a further 42 per cent aim to keep it at the same level.
The findings reflect a strong showing for the Middle East in general, with Saudi Arabia recording a confidence score of 145 - the second highest in the world.
"These results demonstrate that confidence remains steady among SMEs in the Mena region, and I'm delighted to see the Middle East remain one of the top regions surveyed," said Simon Vaughan Johnson, head of commercial banking at HSBC Mena.