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Mon 9 Sep 2019 01:58 PM

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Dubai closer to ending deflation amid business slowdown

IHS Markit's Dubai Purchasing Managers' Index drops to its lowest level in more than three years in August

Dubai closer to ending deflation amid business slowdown
The UAE - of which Dubai is a part - is among the nations in the Gulf that have been mired in deflation.

Dubai is closer to emerging from a prolonged bout of deflation even as business conditions turn worse.

Prices were “broadly unchanged” in August after output charges declined in each of the past 15 months, according to IHS Markit.

At the same time, its Dubai Purchasing Managers’ Index dropped to its lowest level in more than three years. The seasonally adjusted index fell to 51.7 in August from 55.2 in July, its lowest reading since February 2016.

“Future output expectations dimmed but remained relatively strong,” David Owen, economist at IHS Markit, said in a report on Monday. “Selling prices were close to stabilization during August.”

The United Arab Emirates - of which Dubai is a part - is among the nations in the Gulf that have been mired in deflation. A slump in housing costs has been a major drag on prices, compounding the statistical effect of last year’s introduction of value-added tax in Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

In Dubai, “intense competition for new work” was another key factor that contributed to the deflationary momentum, according to IHS Markit.

The overall gauge, a measure of business conditions in the emirate’s non-oil private sector, dropped for a third month to 51.7 in August.

“The slowdown was mostly reflected in the wholesale and retail and construction sectors,” IHS Markit said.

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