An international survey of 10,000 businesses has shown that they remain confident and determined to grow through investment despite the uncertain economic environment and lack of government support.

Research carried out by Populus on behalf of The Sage Group plc in July and August in the USA, Canada, the UK, France, Germany, Austria, Spain, South Africa, Singapore and Malaysia shows that individual businesses are cautiously optimistic looking 6 months into their future, even though there is a general decline in the confidence in both global and local economies.

The survey, (The Sage Business Index – International Business Insights) reveals that most businesses (69%) experienced a steady or improved performance over the last six months and are even looking to expand, invest and recruit within the next six months.

Businesses put government bureaucracy and legislation at the top of the list of least liked hindrances to businesses, especially in Germany (63%), the USA (58%) and then the UK (56%).

Focussing on the UK, businesses put health and safety regulations at the top of their hate list followed closely by employee/labour law.

INDEX SCORES Sept 2011 Feb 2011
Global economic confidence 44.47 52.13
Country economic confidence 47.11 57.17
Business outlook 57.88 56.48

(A score of 50 or above is improvement and more confidence.)

The chief executive of The Sage Group, Guy Berruyer, said:

For many businesses the last few years have been turbulent, even while we were carrying out the fieldwork for this edition of the Sage Business Index the world was going through unprecedented change in the financial markets.  We expected that this might throw up some fascinating changes in attitudes since the first index, and while we certainly can see a drop in confidence in general economic conditions, businesses are focusing on what they need to do to continue growing, despite the wider circumstances.”

With over six million customers all around the world, we are in a unique position to both understand the macro challenges facing businesses, as well as those challenges they face on a local level.  Using this platform of regular research into business confidence on a global scale, we want to represent an honest picture of the realities facing businesses every day, and provide insight into how Sage, governments, businesses and industry can further support business communities and the vital contribution they make to economies.”

Comment Here!