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Fri 14 Aug 2015 12:59 AM

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Dubai private sector growth slows to March 2012 low

Growth momentum moderates to its weakest for more than three years, according to Emirates NBD Dubai Economy Tracker

Dubai private sector growth slows to March 2012 low

Private sector business in Dubai showed further growth in July, although rates of expansion moderated to their weakest for more than three years.

Emirates NBD Dubai Economy Tracker's data signalled another increase in overall business activity across Dubai's private sector economy, which marked five-and-a-half years of continuous expansion.

However, growth momentum moderated to its weakest recorded since March 2012 amid softer contributions from all three key sub-sectors monitored by the survey.

At 53.1 in July, the latest reading was down from 55.5 in June, to signal that output growth was the slowest recorded for just under three-and-a-half years and only moderate overall.

Construction remained the best performing broad area of activity in July, while travel and tourism and wholesale and retail saw only marginal rises in business activity.

Staff numbers rose across the Dubai private sector as a whole in July, which continued the upward trend seen in each month since January 2012. Although the rate of job creation eased since June, the latest expansion was still the second-fastest seen over the past five months.

It said private sector companies were still highly upbeat about their business activity prospects for the year ahead which contributed to another rise in employment numbers in July.

The latest survey suggested that pressure on margins persisted, as input costs increased over the month and average prices charged declined marginally across the private sector.

Sponsored by Emirates NBD and produced by Markit, the survey provides an early indication of operating conditions in Dubai.

The survey covers the Dubai non-oil private sector economy, with additional sector data published for travel and tourism, wholesale and retail and construction.

Tim Fox, chief economist at Emirates NBD, said: "The softening in activity in July is in line with other anecdotal reports, and probably reflects the impact that a stronger dirham and lower oil prices may be having on private sector output and sentiment.

"Nonetheless at 53.1, the headline number still suggests relatively firm growth in the non-oil economy, and it is especially encouraging that despite the slowdown, firms in all three surveyed sectors remain extremely upbeat about future business activity."