Dubai business conditions strongest in 26 months: research

Latest tracker indicates further expansion of private sector in second quarter
Dubai business conditions strongest in 26 months: research
By Sarah Townsend
Tue 09 May 2017 10:05 AM

Operating conditions in Dubai’s non-oil private sector grew to their highest level since February 2015, according to Emirates NBD research.

The bank’s latest economy tracker index showed that private sector companies in Dubai experienced a further improvement in business conditions at the start of the second quarter – rising from 56.6 to 57.7.

A reading of below 50.0 indicates that the non-oil private sector economy is generally declining; above 50.0, it is generally expanding. A reading of 50.0 signals no change.

The data for April signalled the fastest upturn in operating conditions in 26 months. It indicated robust performances across all three key sub-sectors monitored by the survey, led by an accelerated upturn in construction (at 57.9 points), closely followed by wholesale and retail (57.8) and travel and tourism (57.0).

Khatija Haque, head of MENA (Middle East and North Africa) research at Emirates NBD, said: “It is encouraging to see the sharp rise in the construction sector index in April, as this had lagged both wholesale & retail trade and travel and tourism indices in the first quarter.

“The latest Dubai Economy Tracker survey supports our view that investment in infrastructure ahead of Expo 2020 will be a key driver of Dubai’s growth over the next 2-3 years.”

The latest tracker data also revealed the fastest increase in new orders in a little more than two years, said Emirates NBD, and businesses reported that employment rates increased across all three key sectors during April, albeit at modest rates.

New business continued to rise for the fourteenth consecutive month in April, which businesses linked to a generally supportive economic backdrop, and, in some instances, promotional discounts and more construction projects.

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