By Parag Deulgaonkar
Growth to be propelled by infra spend in run-up to Expo 2020, Dubai Plan 2021, says survey
Dubai companies remain positive about growth in the first quarter 2017 compared to fourth quarter 2016, the Department of Economic Development (DED) said on Wednesday.
The growth outlook is backed by infrastructure development in the run-up to Expo 2020 with the government increasing spend by 17 percent in Budget 2017 and job creations under Dubai Plan 2021.
“The survey shows that the business outlook for first quarter 2017 is stronger than that for fourth quarter 2016 and first quarter 2016 in terms of revenues, volumes, profits as well as employment, as respondents anticipate new orders, or projects, and stronger demand for their products,” said Khalid Al Kassim, assistant director general for economic policies, DED.
He added that Dubai’s AED47.3 billion budget for 2017, creation of more than 3,500 new jobs in line with the Dubai Plan 2021 and growing public and private sector activity will the determining factor for boost in business confidence.
The DED’s business confidence index (BCI) score for fourth quarter 2016 rose to 121.0 points, from 116.1 points in fourth quarter 2015.
The results were based on participation by 501 companies who were asked to indicate if they anticipated an increase, decrease, or no change on key outlook indicators such as sales revenues, selling prices, volumes sold, profits and number of employees.
According to DED, manufacturing sector reported the “most confidence” about revenues, volumes, profits, employment and new orders, while the services sector was “most optimistic” about selling prices. However, the trading segment exhibited the “weakest” sentiments with respect to all the parameters.
Within the services sector, the construction segment is “most hopeful” of higher volumes during the first quarter with a net balance of 75 percent based on expectations of new projects/orders.
Within the trading sector, the construction and computer sub-segments are “most optimistic” about volumes during in the first quarter, DED added.