UAE business activity at 10-month high
Dubai, May 3, 2012
Growth in business activity in the United Arab Emirates' non-oil private sector quickened to a 10-month high in April, a purchasing managers' survey showed on Thursday.
The HSBC UAE Purchasing Managers' Index, which measures the performance of the manufacturing and services sectors, increased to 53.5 points last month from 52.3 in March. The adjusted index remains above the 50-point mark which separates growth from contraction, the survey of 400 private sector firms showed.
"It's encouraging that the data picked up so strongly in April, particularly as the employment reading was positive," said Simon Williams, chief economist for the Middle East and North Africa at HSBC.
"I am still somewhat cautious, as this is only one good month's data after six months in the doldrums, and the quieter summer months could put a dent in the uptrend. The UAE also continues to be held back by both tight monetary conditions and a limited fiscal stimulus."
UAE firms saw output growth increase to a 10-month high of 55.4 points from 53.4 in March. New orders advanced to a three-month high of 57.5 points in April.
Job creation across the UAE's non-oil private sector picked up in April, reflecting stronger demand and company expansions.
Employment rose at the fastest rate in nine months, although the pace was still only moderate, the survey showed.
Overall input price inflation slowed slightly in April, as did staff cost growth. Output price inflation picked up marginally, remaining low at 50.40 points.
A Reuters poll of economists conducted in March forecast consumer price inflation would climb to 2 percent this year from 0.9 percent in both 2011 and 2010, while the UAE's gross domestic product growth would slow to 3.1 percent from the 4.9 percent rate estimated by the International Monetary Fund for 2011. - Reuters