Saudi business activity growth at 21-month low
Riyadh, July 2, 2013
Growth in non-oil, private sector business in Saudi Arabia slowed for a third straight month in June to a 21-month low, but the index remained well above the 50-point mark separating expansion from contraction, a survey showed on Tuesday.
The seasonally adjusted SABB HSBC Saudi Arabia Purchasing Managers' Index fell to 56.6 points in June, one of the weakest results in the survey's 47-month history, from 57.3 in May.
For the second month running, the rate of output expansion was the slowest since the survey began in 2009, falling to 58.5 points from 59.6. Last year, output growth did not fall below 60.2 points.
Growth in new orders also slowed, to the lowest level since September 2011, but the rate of expansion was still sharp overall, with 37 percent of companies surveyed reporting a rise in orders.
Companies reported higher input costs, but output costs remained flat, the survey found. Employment accelerated only modestly, however. - Reuters