Dubai’s non-oil private sector is continuing to ramp up, with the pace of expansion speeding up in March, according to the Emirates NBD Economy Tracker Index.
The “sharp improvement” in business conditions during the month was the second-sharpest upturn in business conditions for more than two years, the bank said. Coupled with readings in February and January, the first quarter of 2017 was the best since the first quarter of 2015.
Output, new orders, employment and stocks of purchases all expanded at a faster pace than in February, leading to an index reading of 56.6, up from 56.2 in February, which had been a three-month low. The index is a composite indicator designed to give an accurate overview of operating conditions in the non-oil private sector economy.
The best performing sub-sector monitored by the survey was wholesale and retail (index at 57.1), followed by travel and tourism (55.3) and construction (54.8).
A reading of below 50.0 indicates that the non-oil private sector economy is generally declining; above 50.0 means it is generally expanding. A reading of 50.0 signals no change.
The data showed a renewed increase in employment, although the pace of jobs growth was relatively subdued.
Emirates NBD head of research and chief economist Tim Fox said the latest index reading showed the emirate’s economy was regaining momentum.
“The March data is consistent with sharp improvements in business conditions across Dubai’s non-oil private sector economy,” he said.
The bank said a robust and accelerated expansion of business activity had driven the latest upturn in operating conditions. Anecdotal evidence cited improved underlying demand conditions, alongside successful promotional strategies and more ongoing projects.
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