High growth... manufacturing output up
Saudi August non-oil growth fastest in three years
RIYADH, September 3, 2014
Saudi Arabia's non-oil business activity grew in August at its fastest pace in more than three years, while activity in the United Arab Emirates private sector grew at the fastest pace on record in the month.
Saudi Arabia's non-oil sector's output rose and new orders and employment all gained momentum, a survey showed.
The seasonally adjusted SABB HSBC Saudi Arabia Purchasing Managers Index rose to 60.7 points last month - the highest level since July 2011 - from 60.1 points in the previous month. Any reading above 50 points indicates expansion; anything below, contraction.
The sub-index for output, at 67.4 points, was the highest since June 2011. The new orders sub-index at 69.4 points was the highest since September 2012. The employment sub-index, at 53.0 points, was the highest since March 2013.
Growth in new orders was bolstered partly by foreign markets, the survey showed, with the new export orders sub-index rising to 62.6 points. Companies reported their backlogs of work had fallen from the previous month's high.
Overall input prices rose less quickly in August than in recent months, however, scoring 54.7 points compared with 56.4 points in July. The slowdown in price growth was driven by purchasing costs, for which the sub-index fell sharply; staff cost inflation accelerated slightly.
Business activity in the UAE's non-oil private sector grew helped by sharp gains in output and new business, the HSBC UAE Purchasing Managers' Index said.
The index climbed to 58.4 points in August from 58.0 in July and the highest since the series began in August 2009.
"The September PMI data only strengthens our expectation that the economy will continue to perform well over the remainder of the year and into 2015," said Simon Williams, chief economist for Middle East and North Africa at HSBC.
"Risks may be starting to rise, but for now this is a boom in full flow."
UAE firms saw output growth accelerate to 62.2 points in August from 61.6 points in July. New orders growth picked up to 66.4 points in August, the highest rate since November 2013.
Growth in new export orders quickened to 64.0 points, the highest level since the series began in 2009. Job creation across the UAE's non-oil private sector remained at 53.4 points in August.
Output prices rebounded after falling for four months, with the index up at 51.0 points in August from 49.5 in July. The rate of input price inflation quickened to 56.0 points, the highest level since May 2012. - Reuters