UAE business activity growth hits record high
Dubai, December 4, 2013
While business activity growth in the UAE’s non-oil private sector accelerated to a record high in November as both output and new orders increased sharply, the growth rate remained slower than the average in Saudi Arabia, a survey showed.
The HSBC UAE Purchasing Managers' Index, which measures the performance of both manufacturing and services, rose to 58.1 points in November from 56.3 in the previous month.
The adjusted index remains above the 50-point mark which separates growth from contraction, the survey of 400 private sector firms showed.
"The reading is impressive, but not unexpectedly so," said Liz Martins, senior economist at HSBC. "With the announcement that Dubai will host Expo 2020, and improved sentiment around the geopolitical situation, there is ample reason to believe that the strong performance seen in the UAE in 2013 will continue into 2014."
Dubai is perhaps the best-known of the seven emirates that make up the UAE. It was named host for Expo 2020, a world trade fair, late in November, an event analysts said would lead to a boom in spending on infrastructure.
The PMI report showed saw output growth at UAE firms rebounded to 59.7 points in November, the fastest clip in the survey's two-and-a-half year history, from 56.4 in October.
New orders were at 66.9, also the highest level since the survey started in August 2009 and well up from 64.6 in October. Growth in new export orders picked up to a record high of 59.3 points from 58.9 points in October, the survey showed.
Employment creation across the UAE's non-oil private sector rose to a five-month high of 53.6 points from 52.7 in October.
Output price growth fell further, into negative territory, registering 48.7 points in November after 49.0 in October. Input price growth accelerated to 55.3 points, the highest rate in a year and a half, from 54.2 in the previous month.
Consumer price inflation in the UAE, the world's No. 3 oil exporter, held steady at a two-year high of 1.3 percent on an annual basis in October for the fifth month in a row, government data showed.
Saudi business activity ‘slower than average’
Growth in Saudi Arabia's non-oil business activity accelerated in November, a survey showed on Wednesday, but the rate remained slower than the average in its 52-month history.
The Index rose to 57.1 points in November from 56.7 points in October, well above the 50-point mark that separates expansion from contraction.
Managers surveyed reported strong growth in new orders, increased demand from foreign markets and a growing backlog of orders as companies struggled to accommodate a strong inflow of new business.
The rate of output growth for non-oil private-sector companies picked up to 59.4 points from 58.2 in October, but still remained well below the series average.
New orders eased to 63.9 points in November, the weakest rate since June, from 64.7 in October, the survey showed.
Input prices rose at their quickest clip since March, to 56.2 points in November from 55.7 points. Purchase costs increased to 56.6, their fastest rate in eight months.
A rise in staff costs slowed marginally to 52.6 points from 52.7 in October. The rate of new employment rose to 52.0 points from 51.5 points.
The world's top oil exporter is instituting sweeping labour reforms and a crackdown on improperly registered foreign workers. – Reuters