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More confidence – hooray!

More confidence – hooray!

Kipp asked if you thought 2011 would be a better year for business than 2010, and the results are in. All this confidence is making us giddy.

January 5, 2011 2:32 by

No sooner had we wrapped our recent article about how jolly confident everyone is feeling, than more confidence was being whipped up and spread liberally on the front pages. Well, virtual pages, at any rate.

Emirates 24-7 reports that 75 percent of UAE businesses project growth in 2011, according to a global survey. Grant Thornton, the accounting boffins, say business confidence here in the UAE is on a par with the world’s other fast growing economies like India, Brazil and Germany, which all delivered confidence scores of 75 percent and above.

The annual survey, cunningly entitled the International Business Report, takes in the views of 11,000 owners of large and medium private businesses in 39 countries. According to the numbers Chilean businessmen were most optimistic, with 95 percent expecting growth. And in case you were wondering, Japan and Southern Europe are the most worried. They’re probably cowering under their tables right now.

Never ones to be left off the upbeat bandwagon, the Kuwait Financial Centre have climbed aboard with news that corporate earnings here in the UAE are set to recover. Going by the street name ‘Markaz’, the centre put out one of its own “what’s in store” reports, this one cleverly entitled “What to expect in 2011” (catchy).

“We expect corporate earnings to return to growth in 2011; after declining by an estimated 6 per cent in 2010, we expect growth at 24 per cent in 2011,” it says. Twenty four percent! Get those pay rise requests in now, thinks Kipp. It noted some other stuff too, but that was the sexy headline figure.

Coincidentally, last week we asked you readers if you think 2011 will be a better year for business. We asked and you answered, and this is what you said: The largest proportion of you are glass half full types – 46 percent of you reckon things are going to improve. After all, how could it get any worse? Twenty seven percent of you are expecting more of the same in 2011. A miserable 14 percent of you thinks it’s all downhill from here, and the remaining 13 percent are courageously sitting on the fence, with the insightful: “I really don’t know.”

“Hmm, interesting. But where does Kipp stand?” We don’t hear you ask. Well, we can’t help feeling we’ve heard it all before. This time last year, the usual suspects were talking up the prospects for 2010. Having endured a hellish 2009, they were sure last year would be much better (and who can blame them? When you’re at rock bottom, the only thing that keeps you going is hope). And, though we hate to say it, many of the predictions at the time sounded an awful lot like these.

Since by our nature we can’t bring ourselves to be positive (when have we ever?), and since we just admonished the fence-sitters, we’re stuck between ‘worse’ and ‘the same.’ And we’re going to stick our necks out and say: More of the same. Not because of any reasonable assessment, but simply because we won’t be able to face it if things get worse again.

Plus this way, if things get any better, it’ll come as a welcome surprise.

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