UAE non-oil private sector
Business Dubai UAE

UAE non-oil private sector economy increases in March; reading indicates demand has improved

UAE economy rose to 55.7 in March from 53.4 a month earlier

UBAI: Growth in the United Arab Emirates’ non-oil sector picked up in March after slowing to a 28-month low last month, a survey showed on Sunday.

The seasonally adjusted Emirates NBD UAE Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), which covers manufacturing and services and provides an overview of the non-oil private sector economy, rose to 55.7 in March from 53.4 a month earlier.

A reading above 50 indicates expansion and below that, contraction.

The output sub-index rose to 63.0 from 59.3 in February — recovering to January levels. The new orders sub-index rose to 59.0 after dipping to 55.0 in the previous month.

“The acceleration in output and new orders suggests that demand has improved, although this was likely supported by further declines in selling prices in March. The environment remains competitive for businesses,” said Khatija Haque, head of MENA research at Emirates NBD.

The UAE economy grew by around 1.7 percent in 2018, slower than projected despite a boost from higher oil prices, official preliminary data showed last month. 

Selling prices continued a six-month contractionary streak in March. The employment sub-index rose to 50.3, indicating a weak return to job creation after a reading of 47.5 in February.

But the growth in employment remained sluggish, with less than 3 percent of the surveyed businesses reporting increased hiring.

– Detailed PMI data are only available under licence from IHS Markit and customers need to apply for a licence.


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