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Saudi Arabian Business Confidence Continues To Weaken

6/3/2009 8:28 AM ET

Saudi Arabia's business confidence fell to 88.3 in the second quarter from 89.2 in the first quarter, a report from the Saudi British Bank showed Wednesday. Around 51% of respondents expect businesses to grow over the next two quarters.

A majority of 52% expect oil prices to stay in the US$50s range, while only 15% expect them to rise above US$60s. The survey found that businesses see inflation to fall further, which is helping increase confidence in the overall economy.

Businesses forecast bank lending to remain anemic with 48% predicting "severe" conditions. Meanwhile, most companies are viewing the local stock market as their preferred investment outlet. Further, the report said most companies continue to have a hiring freeze.

by RTT Staff Writer

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