Dubai construction business activity hits 18-month high

Private sector companies optimistic about their growth prospects: Emirates NBD
Dubai construction business activity hits 18-month high
(ITP Images)
By Parag Deulgaonkar
Sun 11 Jun 2017 03:22 PM

Dubai’s construction sector is on a recovery mode, as the Emirates NBD Dubai Economy Tracker Index for construction sector reached its highest level in 18 months.

While the seasonally adjusted index – a composite indicator designed to give an accurate overview of operating conditions in the non-oil private sector economy –  fell from April’s 26-month high of 57.7 to 55.0 in May,  the bank said the non-oil private sector witnessed “robust expansion” last month.

Sub-sector data indicated that construction companies experienced the fastest improvement in business conditions (56.2), followed by wholesale and retail (55.5) and travel and tourism (54.2).

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

Khatija Haque, head of MENA Research, Emirates NBD, said: “The decline in the Dubai economy tracker index in May is consistent with what we’ve seen in the regional country surveys.  However, the data still points to a robust expansion in the non-oil private sector last month.

“The construction sector survey is particularly encouraging with the sector index near the highest level in one-and-a-half years.”

Although the overall pace of activity growth slowed to the weakest in seven months, business activity remained sharp driven by construction sector. Besides, improving operations reflected another robust upturn in output across the Dubai private sector economy, the bank said.

Private sector companies continued to raise their payroll numbers, but at a marginal pace. New business opportunities rose as inflation eased to a 14-month low.

“Dubai private sector companies are optimistic about their growth prospects for the year ahead. The degree of positive sentiment accelerated to a three-month high, driven by improved optimism across all three monitored key sectors,” Emirates NBD said.

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