Business confidence in Israel and some of its fellow high-growth economies has dropped significantly over the past six months, according to the latest Regus Business Confidence Index.The biannual index, which is based on the views of more than 24,000 senior business people in 92 countries, found that despite growing pessimism, levels of business confidence in rapidly growing economies still remain well ahead of those in mature economies.In Israel, confidence levels dropped from 116 points in April to the benchmark average of 100 in October.Fifty-eight percent of Israeli businesspeople said their company revenues have risen in the past year, compared to just 9% who reported declines. The remaining 33% said revenues stayed flat in the past year.Forty-nine percent said company profits rose in the past year, while 9% said they declined.Three-quarters of Israeli respondents said they expect their company revenues to increase in the next 12 months, while 7% said they expect to see a decrease. But when asked about the general picture, only 18% said they believed Israel’s economy was advancing strongly. Four percent said they believe economic recovery will advance strongly by the end of this year, 31% said in the first half of 2013 and 47% said in the second half of 2013.They gave mixed responses to the question of how they feel about government measures to stimulate economic growth: 49% said they believe the government is doing a good job encouraging businesses to invest and grow.The survey asked respondents to select the three biggest challenges faced by start-up companies in Israel.Cash-flow received the most votes, with 71%, followed by finding customers, 50%, marketing and promotion costs, 40%, and the cost of employing customer-service assistants, 23%. Only 2% thought startups have problems finding a suitable work location or office space for client meetings.The respondents were asked to select the top three measures the government should use to help new businesses.Tax exemptions was the most popular answer, with 79%, followed by low-interest loans, 63%, and free consultancy services and export credit guarantees, both 23%.