UAE non-oil business activity at 4-month high
Dubai, April 3, 2014
Business activity growth in the UAE's non-oil private sector edged up slightly to a four-month high in March as output surged at the fastest pace in the series' history, a purchasing managers' survey showed on Thursday.
The HSBC UAE Purchasing Managers' Index, which measures the performance of the manufacturing and services sectors, rose to 57.7 points in March from 57.3 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 UAE economy is in its best condition in seven years," said Simon Williams, chief economist for the Middle East and North Africa at HSBC. "Output is building momentum, new orders are firm and inflation is only beginning to pick up."
UAE firms saw output growth rise to 60.3 points in March, which was the strongest rate since the series started in August 2009, from February's 59.7. New orders increased to 66.2, a four-month high.
Growth in new export orders fell sharply to 57.9 points in March from 60.1 in the previous month, which was the highest level in the series' history.
Employment creation across the UAE's non-oil private sector eased marginally to 52.8 points in March. Output price growth was unchanged while input price growth rebounded to 54.9 from a six-month low of 54.1 points in February.
Consumer price inflation in the UAE, one of the world's top oil exporters, edged up to 1.8 percent on an annual basis in February, the highest rate since October 2010.-Reuters