Middle East business confidence has fallen in the last six months, according to the global Regus Business Confidence Index. The Middle East score slipped back nine points to 125 since September with 49 percent of companies reporting revenue growth compared to 55 percent six months ago. Companies reporting profit growth remain stable at 45 percent, the index also showed. Middle East firms said they identified paying for unnecessary office space (63 percent) as the main reason for corporate distress during the downturn, followed by difficult access to cost effective capital (52 percent). Respondents also saw more sales through third parties, increasing use of pay-as-you-go business services (44 percent) and a shorter supply chain (40 percent) as the areas where companies could best make savings without damaging growth prospects. Globally, the Business Confidence Index rating was lower for small businesses than for large firms, Regus said. Joanne Bushell, vice president for Middle East and Africa, Regus said: \"Middle Eastern business confidence has suffered a dip possibly affected by the Eurozone crisis and a slight slowdown in BRIC growth economies. \"Although companies reporting profit growth remains table, there is a slight squeeze in those reporting revenues, therefore it is not surprising that in order to grasp growth opportunities in a sustainable way, businesses are still looking to cut overheads without damaging their growth prospects.\" She added: \"In particular, a significant proportion of businesses believe that unnecessary office space, one of the major burdens borne through the global economic downturn alongside the well documented bank lending and capital squeeze, is an area where businesses may focus their cost-cutting efforts successfully.\"