Incoming new business rose at the highest rate since 2010
Strong growth in Dubai’s wholesale and retail sector has helped propel growth in the emirate’s non-oil private sector economy at the fastest rate for four years, according to figures released on Thursday.
The Emirates NBD Dubai Economy Tracker Index, which surveys business conditions in the non-oil sector on a monthly basis, registered a score of 57.9 in April, up from 57.6 in March and the highest since February 2015. A score of above 50 indicates expansion, while a score below 50 suggests contraction.
The level of incoming business across the emirate was at 66.6 in April, the strongest rate since records began in 2010. The positive score was propelling by strong growth in new business in the wholesale and retail sector, which had a score of 70.8.
As a result, the index found that jobs in the wholesale and retail sector rose in April, while other sectors, such as travel and tourism and construction saw job levels decline.
Commenting on the results, Khatija Haque, head of MENA Research at Emirates NBD, said: “The sharp rise in output and new work in April is encouraging, as it suggests GDP growth is accelerating after a relatively soft 2018. However, this growth in the volume of activity appears to be underpinned by price discounting, rather than an improvement in underlying demand. As a result, firms are reluctant to boost hiring and consumers are likely to remain cautious.”
Evidence of growth in the retail sector was seen last month when Emaar Malls reported a 7 percent rise in Q1 net profit to $159 million, with The Dubai Mall attracting 22 million visitors during the quarter.