UAE non-oil private sector continues ‘robust growth’

The UAE’s non-oil private sector recorded “robust growth” last month, even as new orders grew by their lowest rate since August 2013, according to data from the monthly HSBC Purchasing Managers Index survey, compiled by Markit.

Output during May rose at its fastest rate in three months, even though the headline PMI figure dropped 0.4 to 56.8 during the month. An index score above 50 indicates a net expansion in economic activity over the previous month, while a score below 50 indicates contraction.

However, Markit noted that while new orders continued to increase, May saw the smallest rise since August 2013.

Meanwhile payroll numbers in the non-oil private sector rose “solidly” during the month in May, buoyed by an increase in new projects and new branch openings.

“The UAE’s non-oil private sector continued on its robust growth trend during May, supported by marked expansions in output and new business,” said Philip Leake, an economist at Markit.

“With employment also rising solidly, the PMI looks set to remain comfortably inside growth territory over the coming months.”

Elsewhere in the region, the PMI Index for Saudi Arabia slipped to 57.0 in May from 58.3 in April, while Egypt’s index rose modestly to 49.9 from 49.8 the previous month.

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John Everington

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