Employment in the UAE’s non-oil private sector remained below the neutral 50-level for the second consecutive month, according to the Emirates NBD Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) compiled by IHS Markit.
Most firms reported no change in staffing in September, while nearly 2% indicated a drop in jobs last month, during which staff wages were also largely unchanged.
“Year to date, the PMI averaged 55.7, similar to the same period last year. Although output and new work rose sharply in September, supported by growth in export orders,” commented Khatija Haque, Head of MENA Research at Emirates NBD.
Moreover, stocks of pre-production inventories rose marginally in September after falling in August. Average inventory levels have been unchanged over the last four months, suggesting that firms are either better at managing their stocks or are reluctant to build up inventory, Haque said, suggesting signifying softer expected demand in the coming months.
Data showed that 62% of firms surveyed expect higher output next year, though the number is lower than the August survey.
Input costs rose slightly in September (51.2), but the rate of producer inflation slowed markedly since January due to VAT, which pushed the index up to 57.4. Selling prices were unchanged (50.2), however, after declining on average for the previous four months.
“Backlogs of work rose again in September – unsurprising given strong output and new work growth with no increase in employment – but at the slowest pace since May,” said Haque.
The data suggests that the UAE’s non-oil sector is growing at a similar pace to last year at 2.5% non-oil GDP growth.For all the latest business news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
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