A growth in output, rise in demand and stabilisation in staffing levels have seen the UAE’s non-oil private sector regain momentum in March, according to data from the Emirates NBD Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) for the UAE.
The UAE’s headline PMI recovered to a 55-handle in March following a weak February when it hit a 28-month low of 53.4.
An acceleration in output and new orders from other GCC countries and the US, as well as a drop in selling prices, resulted in improved demand, according to Khatija Haque, Head of MENA Research at Emirates NBD. Output prices had decreased for the sixth consecutive month in March.
Haque said the growth in inventories and a rise in future output means businesses are more optimistic about their prospects when compared to recent months.
While less than 3% of firms surveyed reported hiring in March, employment marginally improved, having fallen in February, and higher new orders encouraging some firms to take on extra staff.
The survey, which is compiled by IHS Markit and contains data collected from a monthly survey of business conditions in the UAE’s non-oil private sector, also showed business confidence hitting a new record high at the end of the first quarter.
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